Child Abuse

Topics: Child abuse, Abuse, Psychological abuse Pages: 4 (1360 words) Published: June 20, 2013
“What is child abuse? The term "child abuse" can be defined as any behavior directed toward a child by a parent, guardian, caregiver, other family member, or other adult, that endangers or impairs a child’s physical or emotional health and development” (National 1). Factors which often contribute to child abuse are alcohol and substance abuse, lack of parenting skills, economic difficulties or poverty, domestic violence and previous victimization (National 1). The consequences of abuse may be mild or severe; disappear after a short period or last a lifetime; and affect the child physically, psychologically, behaviorally, or in some combination of all three ways (Gateway 1). Though all traumatic not all child abuse is the same, there are four different categories that child abuse is classified into, neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. Though all are different they all share the dangerous possibilities of having the abused child or children become an abuser themselves in the future.

Neglect is the most common form of child abuse, with 59% of the substantiated reports of maltreatment classified as neglect in 2007 (USDHHS 2009). Neglect is very common because it is the simplest form of child abuse, being defined as a pattern of failing to provide for a child's basic needs, whether it be adequate food, clothing, hygiene, or supervision (Smith and Segal 1). There are many ways to spot neglect in a child like being poorly clothed, looking malnourished, lack of attendance in school, and having medical needs not met or up to date.

With neglect being the most common form of abuse among children it is trailed fairly close with physical abuse which is also a highly common form of child abuse. Physical abuse is defined as follows:

“Physical abuse involves physical harm or injury to the child. It may be the result of a deliberate attempt to hurt the child, but not always. It can also result from severe discipline, such as using a belt...
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