Childabuse Essay, Research Paper
Child Abuse: No Laughing Matter
Child abuse affects the lives of millions of children every year in this country. The children often suffer horrific injuries from the beatings. Some children, even tiny babies, may even die. Abuse often leads to future behavioral problems, ranging from mild to very serious. Also, an abused child is more likely to grow up to be an abuser. These are some of the reasons why child abuse is no laughing matter. In fact, it is one of the saddest and most tragic problem s of today s society.
According to the American Humane Association, there are some 2.2 million cases of child abuse reported every year. The majority of cases are committed against children between the ages of three and eight (Dolan 14). These children are too young to know better and too small to fight back. Abusers hit the children with objects such as belts, straps, electrical cords, baseball bats, and, of course, hands and fists. They burn, bite, scratch, cut, punch, kick, slap, and, in other ways, threaten the child s well being. Many of these children will require medical attention for their injuries. It is difficult to get an accurate account of how many cases of child abuse there actually are. Many cases go unreported because abusers often disguise injuries as accidents.
Child abuse that results in death is more common than most people would like to believe. The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect estimates that approximately 2,000 children die each year because of child abuse that is five children every day. Children under the age of four account for more that + of the fatalities (Mufson and Kranz 3). As ironic as it might sound, perhaps these children are really the lucky ones. At least they will not have to suffer through years of abuse. Unfortunately, most abused children are victims of their own mother or father. The very person that gave them life, and is supposed to protect that life, is the one that is now taking that life away.
It is easy to recognize the physical effects of child abuse the bruises, scratches, cuts, burns, broken bones, and black eyes. What are not as obvious are the long loasting negative emotional effects. An abused child often feels guilt because he feels like he must have done something wrong to cause someone to treat them this way. Abusers are very good at making their victims feel guilty. An abuser will often blame the child by saying things like you make me do this and it s for your own good. A child will believe them because, all too often, the abuser is someone that the child is supposed to be able to trust. The child feels shame because he cannot do anything to stop the abuse. He is afraid to tell someone because he feels no one will believe him. He is afraid people will see him as weird or different. Probably, most of all, he is afraid of more, and more violent beatings if the abuser finds out. These negative emotions may lead to future behavioral problems for the child. He may display a poor self-image, and inability to depend on , love, or trust others, aggressive behaviors, or problems in school. In addition, more serious, self-destructive habits of drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, depression, or even suicide may occur.
Abuse can damage a child for life. Sometimes, he will survive only to take the pain that he has suffered out on someone else. Unfortunately, this often means his own child. Why would an abused child grow up to be an abuser? Shouldn t he, of all people, realize the pain he is putting his own child through? The answer to this seems simple. Abuse is all he knows. He had poor preparation for his role as a parent. He doesn t know what a loving parent is. He never learned to be gentle, kind, and patient. He learned to be violent when things go wrong. His parents deprived him of love and warmth. As a parent, he now looks to his own child to provide the things that were missing form his childhood. When the child isn t able to provide these things, he lashes out against the child, just as his parents lashed put against him.
Society must not take the issue of child abuse lightly. It is a tragic problem that is not going to go away on its own. Someone has to do something to help these children, and to help their children. Someone must stop abusers, and potential abusers, before they hurt another innocent child. If the vicious, endless cycle of abuse can be broken, this country will be one step closer to seeing an end to child abuse.