Professor Mark Watman
28 July 2013
Preventing Child Abuse
"Allison was washing the dishes and had just begun to dry them. All of a sudden, she heard the door slam. 'Girl, Where's my food?' the voice yelled. It was her father just getting home from work. Allison began to panic. Rushing to try and find a dish, her little five year old fingers dropped the plate and it smashed to the floor. Her father stomped into the kitchen and began to threaten to beat her.” Think this story is horrifying and unrealistic? Think again. Scenarios like this happen to thousands of children every day. A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds, with more than 5 of those children losing their lives due to the child abuse (National Child Abuse Statistics 2013). Child abuse occurs in many different ways, but all ending in the same result- severe emotional and physical harm. The most obvious types of abuse are physical and sexual due to the fact that they leave actual physical evidence behind. Emotional abuse and neglect are also serious types of abuse, but are not as easily detected. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. This old saying could not be further from the truth (Rennie 2013). Emotional abuse may seem as if it is invisible, but it involves behavior that interferes with the child’s mental health and social development, thus leaving lifelong psychological scars deeper than physical abuse. Emotional abuse is when a child is isolated, rejected, criticized and terrorized by their “loved ones”, creating their self-esteem to break down. This also includes not creating a developmentally appropriate environment for the child as well as the child not having a primary “go to” figure to learn social and emotional skills. Neglect, being the most common type of abuse is failing to provide for the child’s basic needs. Not supplying clothing, food, shelter, supervision and appropriate hygiene needs are just a few...
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