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Child Abuse
When one thinks of child abuse, the initial thought is a child with broken bones and bruises. Physical abuse is not the only type of child abuse. Child abuse can be in the form of neglect, emotional and sexual abuse as well as the most obvious, physical abuse. These four types of abuse can leave lasting scars on the children and cause a repeat pattern of abuse in later years. Child abuse covers a wide range of parental and adult actions inflicted upon children and many times are not reported.

Although physical abuse is the most obvious form of abuse, child neglect is the most common abuse that occurs in America. Child neglect is defined as any maltreatment of a child due to the failure of providing care for a child. Neglected children are ignored by their parents or caregivers. The most obvious form of neglect is the placement of a child or children in unsupervised and dangerous situations (Smith, Melinda & Segal, Jeanne, Segal. Understanding Child Abuse And Neglect.). However, neglect can also be in the form of not providing the needed resources for a child or withholding of food and clothing. AS the economy continues to suffer, neglect will continue to be prominent. According to Brayan and Grapes, when families are in poverty, it is difficult to provide the needed care of children and there is a rise in the cases of child neglect. Children’s needs are typically the last to be thought of while parents are focused on survival. Parents are so stressed and consumed with bills to be paid that the basic well-being of a child is often neglected. Even though it is the most common form of child abuse, it is very difficult to prove except in extreme cases of neglect. Child neglect is the withholding of age appropriate care of a child, but that needed care is subjective. What one person might see as a need, another might see as a want. Also, as children grow, they become accustomed to pretending everything is fine and typically will not show signs of neglect. (Smith, Melinda & Segal, Jeanne, Segal. Understanding Child Abuse And Neglect.). Abandonment is a serious form of neglect. It is the failure of a parent to provide and maintain reasonable support and regular contact with their child. It is also accompanied by a parent or caregiver intentionally allowing such conditions to continue for an indefinite period of time. According to the law, an abandoned child is one whose parent has made only minimal efforts to provide and maintain parental relationship with limited support and communication for at least six months (Feerick, M. & Knuston, J. “Child Abuse And Neglect).

Another type of child abuse is emotional abuse. This type of abuse is similar to neglect but deals with the emotional development of a child instead of the withholding of care. Emotional abuse is the blaming, belittling and/or rejecting of a child. It can also be continuous treatment of siblings unequally. It is basically the persistent and constant lack of concern by the parent of caretaker for the child's emotional well-being. (Feerick, M. & Knuston, J. “Child Abuse And Neglect) Unless an individual actually sees the emotional abuse first hand, it is difficult to observe. In the school setting, children who have been emotionally abused can show signs of delayed development, speech disorders and failure to thrive syndrome. Emotional abuse can be seen through these behavioral indicators, but in many times, these indicators will not be immediately apparent. (Feerick, M. & Knuston, J. “Child Abuse And Neglect). Another form of child abuse is sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse can be defined as abuse in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation. It can manifest in many ways including an adult or older child asking or pressuring a younger child to engage in sexual activities, indecent exposure private parts, or using a child to produce child pornography. Child sexual abuse can take...
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