Child Abuse Essay, Research Paper
l, emotional (verbal), and sexual (incest) abuse. Inappropriate parents behavior is usually, most often the case. Sometimes child abuse may be linked under a more broader term, maltreatment or neglect. Child abuse has a profound impact on families, victims (children), the abuser, and for future generations to come. For instance, Jenifer is a thirteen year old and she has a very nice, wealthy, and happy family. Her best friend Tina is occasionally physically abused by her father. Sometimes Tina comes to school with a horrendous bruise on her body and she seems very quiet and upset. Jenifer is scared for Tina but does not know how to react and she is scared to tell anyone even her mom. Child abuse is a widely known and sometimes hidden problem that has many effects on the stages of human development in children. Many children are terribly afraid to admit abuse in the home or when someone known is abused by a family member. Children should have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in ones home which is supposed to be a place to go for comfort and safety. The abused are said to become the abusers in adulthood.
Giovannone and Bederra say that “the basic problem in defining abuse is that the meaning of most actions is determined by the environment in which it may occur”. “Also they defined abuse as an incidental physical injury that results from acts of omissions on the part of a parent(s) or guardian(s)” (27). Physical abuse is a type of abuse that involves inappropriate and developmentally damaging use of a type of “physical” force. The use of physical force against children seems to reflect a mixture of positive beliefs in force as a tool for shaping a child’s behavior. There may also be emotional tension in the parent. Some parents may see their child do something wrong for example, running in the house when told several times to walk. The parent decides to use physical force instead of alternative consequences. Many social workers explored the meaning and significance of violence in the family. They concluded that “violence is deeply rooted in some basic aspect of the way our families work, particularly their focus on power and authoritarian values.” (et al. 134). The use of force against a child illustrates the ill affects of parental failure to adapt to a child. Many parents who spank their child at a young age, see the child maturing in size, so they may apply a more drastic force of hitting. (corporal punishment) “Corporal punishment is identified as a poor disciplinary action used in childhood but may be much worse for adolescents.” (Helfer 271)
TYPES OF CHARACTERISTICS OF PHYSICAL ABUSE:
Yanking (pulling) hair Kicking
Those are just of few of the characteristics physical abuse there are others even more severe like the actual attempt to kill the child. These actions may all be used or the abuser may choose different options. They all may be used or just one or two. Any of these physical actions are very harmful and sometimes deadly for the victim.
According to the Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics from the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse a survey was done in 1994. Physical abuse represented 21% of confirmed cases but back in 1986 it was 27%. In 1986, approximately 22.6 children per 1,000 experienced abuse or neglect. Only half of these incidents were reported to CPS agencies. In 1994, an estimated 1,271 child abuse and neglect fatalities were confirmed by CPS agencies. Since 1985, the rate of child abuse fatalities has increased by 48%. Based on these numbers, more than three children die each day.(Wiese and Daro, aol survey)
Another type of abuse is emotional abuse. Emotional abuse seems very hard to define but it is a very devastating social problem of children and youth in this society. Even though it seems hard to define, it is easy to identify if a person is around this type of abuse, for example a close friend being around and seeing the sorrow. “Emotional abuse is the willful destruction or significant impairment of a child’s competence.” (Garbarino, 11). If an infant is emotionally abused, it usually involves a parents refusal to be responsive to the infant. For instance, a mother may not smile or talk with the baby as a “normal” mother should. This is rejecting the baby and not allowing normal, necessary development. In adolescent ages, parental behavior involves punishing the child for normal social behavior and self esteem. “They prevent the child from becoming socially and psychologically competent.” (Gargarino,57) The parent may see the child as not doing anything good enough for them in the concept. The parent may try to accept the child and then reject and push him/her away. “Some other patterns may be used such as constant criticism, disdain for personal idiosyncrasies, and contempt for dress styles.” (“Current trends in”,aol 3)
TYPES OF CHARACTERISTICS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE:
Name calling Rejection
These are only a few characteristics of emotional abuse but drastic cases can effect the child’s whole entire life and effect the normal developmental stages of life. Some parents or abusers reject their children so much that they even physically throw them out of the house without making any type of living arrangements for them.
According to the Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics from the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse in 1994, neglect confirmed 49% of the cases and emotional maltreatment claimed 3%. Currently, about 47 out of every 1,000 children are reported as victims of child maltreatment. (Weise and Daro, aol survey)
The last type of abuse discussed is sexual abuse. Sexual abuse may also be known as incest in families. “Incest is an inappropriate behavior in its most extreme form.” “Incest forces an inappropriate choice upon the youth, between obedience and integrity.” (“Child abuse” 45) “The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect defines sexual abuse of children as cataracts or interactions between a child and an adult when the child is being used for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or another person when the perpetrator is in a position of power or control over the victim.”(“Incest, Assault” 151) Sexual abuse is an invasion into the child (victims) personal space and privacy. Usually if a child is sexually abused the abuser would normally threaten the child with threats. Such threats may be that he or she will hurt the child if he or she tells anyone. The child may feel that they are the ones who had done something wrong and that’s why it is happening. They may also feel very ashamed because of it and be embarrassed to even mention it to anyone. This may also encourage the abuse to continue. According to the Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics from the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse in 1994 8% confirmed cases are sexual abuse. (Findelhor 17) “Studies of the general population of adults show that anywhere from 6 to 63% of females were sexually abused as children. A 1985 LA Times national survey found that 27% of women and 16% of men reported being sexually abused prior to age 18 (Finkelhor 19). A recent study of disclosed cases of child abuse in center based day care revealed no especially high risk of sexual abuse for children sent to such a setting. “While an average of 5.5 children per 10,000 enrolled in day care are sexually abused, an average of 8.9 children out of every 10,000 are abused in the home.” (Finkelhor & William’s 26).
Why does child abuse usually occur in abusive individuals? Many of the parental abusers in the society may have emotionally deprived as a child themselves. They may themselves have been rejected as a child of his or her normal behavior stands. “This deprivation may have begun in early days of life.” (“Child Abuse”) This child deprivation may and usually begins in early years of life. “Another aspect may be low levels of empathy. This is the ability to feel what others may feel, taking the role of another. This development may have been lacking in the abusers childhood. Empathy is central to mental health and maturity that is due to socialization.” (Ottio, 107). Having a lack of empathy people seem likely to be abusive. A parental abuser also may have developed a low self-esteem. This is the value we place upon ourselves, or in other words the way we rate ourselves, or see ourselves in a “self” image. People with low self-esteem are very likely to adapt to behavior problems. As a child they have been rejected, or were placed under severe punishments when the child’s actions were not severe.
In the Tampa Tribune on June 6, 1998 a case of horrible violence shocked the community. A woman was sentenced to one year in jail and five years probation in the death of her child. The little child’s name was Michael Wilkin Jr. and he died on June 17, 1996 when he was removed form life support equipment. A medical examiner said the cause of death was consistent with shaken-baby syndrome or a blow to the head with a blunt object. Wilkin other five children were taken from her by social workers. (Tampa Tribune 5).
The living arrangements where most abuse occurs or where most abusive families live are usually in poverty areas, or high crime areas. Most abuse occurs inside of the home but in some cases outside the home. Surprisingly, a lot of cases are found even in middle class families. This abuse would normally in all cases occur inside the home because of fear of being noticed. Children usually develop similarly to the way parents are like. They tend to behave how they are taught and what they see around them during development. At a young age, children normally look up to their parents as role models. They may see the parents as “important” people and want to be like they are.
Any type of abuse may and usually will derive a child of their basic human needs. For instance, love, affection, caring, happiness, safety, shelter, and needs. Children like every other individual need many different types of aspects in order for them to develop into healthy teenagers and then into healthy adults. Everyone needs to develop a unique identity of themselves. This helps the child realize; I am who I am, and I am where I belong. A lack of identity will inhibit a low self-esteem. Children also need to feel powerful as an individual, so that they can affect the world around them. They need this ability in order for them to feel they themselves can do things, not just someone doing it for them. The need of acceptance from the parent is also very important. An unconditional regard that allows them to experiment and to make mistakes and learn. This will enable the child to feel good about him or herself.
All in all child abuse is a major problem in the society. There are many different types of abuse; physical, emotional (verbal), and sexual (incest) abuse. Many children who are abused at a young age unfortunately become the abusers to their children. Children should be able to have the right to “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” with parental nurturing, protection, and education to grow up to be a “self” and to become independent, not abusive. If children are not taught this throughout their childhood, then they won’t be able to develop into a “normal” life style. When abuse is suspected in a family, a social worker (case worker) will come to the house and do a thorough check out. They will make a decision to see what needs or not needs to be done. “In individuals who may see or believe that a child is being abused they are required to report the information.” (“Making Decisions”)
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Child abuse is a major problem in our society. There are different classifications of abuse: physica