Essay on Child Abuse

Submitted By shelbyb030
Words: 1537
Pages: 7

Ever wonder why the society has so much crime inhabiting it, living off pain from others? If yelling and hitting a child is used as a punishment, then how do you know when you’ve gone too far? Every time a child is hit, it makes the child even more eligible to become tomorrow’s criminal. With every scream, every put down, every hit and every inappropriate touch, the child is more likely to have a less successful life as an adult. This is child abuse and it’s staring us in the face as a problem we can lessen just by paying attention to it.
The definition of child abuse might vary for person but the legal definition is physical maltreatment or sexual molestation of a child. There is also emotional maltreatment. According to the Administration for Children and Families child abuse is “Any recent act of failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation”, or “An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.” (1)
There are many myths that go along with child abuse. The first myth is that it’s only abuse if its violent. In fact physical abuse is just one type of child abuse, neglect and emotional abuse can be just as damaging, and since they are more subtle, others are less likely to intervene (2). Another myth is that only bad people abuse their children. “While it’s easy to say that only “bad people: abuse their children, it’s not always so black and white. Not all abuser are intentionally harming their children. Many have been victims of abuse themselves, and don’t know any other way to parent, others may be struggling with mental health issues or a substance abuse problem” (2). Most people believe that child abuse doesn’t happen in “good” families. “Child abuse doesn’t only happen in poor families or bad neighborhoods. It crosses all racial, economic, and cultural lines. Sometimes, families who seem to have it all from the outside are hiding a different story behind closed doors (2).”
More children were found abused in 2011 than in the past years. “Child abuse is a pervasive and deadly problem. In 2011, over 676,000 children were determined to be victims of abuse or neglect. As in prior years, neglect was the most common form of child maltreatment, but victims also suffered from physical abuse, sexual abuse and psychological maltreatment. And, an estimated 1,570 children died.” (3)
Statistics show many disturbing facts about child abuse. “Approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4. More than four children die every day as a result of child abuse. It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.” (4) They also show how kids are affected after being abused. “Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy. Abused teens are more likely to engage in sexual risk taking, putting them at greater risk for STDs.”(4) As adults they get worse. “Children who experience child abuse & neglect are about 9 times more likely to become involved in criminal activity. 14% of all men in prison and 36% of women in prison in the USA were abused as children, about twice the frequency seen in the general population.” (4) If a child is abused is happening it is more likely caused form substance abuse. “One-third to two-thirds of child maltreatment cases involve substance use to some degree.” If a parent abuses a substance than the kid is more likely to be neglected; “In one study, children whose parents abuse alcohol and other drugs were three times more likely to be abused and more than four times more likely to be neglected than children from non-abusing families.”(4) In other cases the found the teen or adult using the drug from being abused; “As many as two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children.”(4) “More than a third of adolescents with a report