“Mommy, please stop!” Might be the phrase neighbors hear but ignore by turning up the TV to mute the child’s cry. Child abuse is a serious issue; it often occurs when the parent or caregiver physically, mentally or sexually abuses a child. There are some government and state laws that protect children against abuse, but parents are still allowed to discipline their children as they see fit. Because regulations are not followed through, victims of abuse feel powerless, unfit parents are not weeded out, and the abuse continues. Stricter government regulations are needed because there are countless preventable deaths of children. Children are the minds of our future but they seem to be part of a statistical history of abuse. In El Paso County in Colorado, seventy-two of 175 children died despite warnings from neighbors. A recording of a mother sitting on her two-year old was not enough evidence to charge her (Brown). A Denver Post investigated the child welfare programs of Colorado revealing “a pattern of disturbing failures in which warnings were ignored and cases closed without even a visit” by a caseworker (Brown). There are warning signs to every abused child and these signs are often ignored by family members, school administrators, as well as neighbors (Salinas 81). These failed attempts are the result of poor government regulations.
There are over 3.3 million reports of child abuse in the United States alone. Five children die each day due to child abuse (see fig. 1). Of the 20 million annual reports of child abuse, “only a third are affirmed as abuse or neglect, it is often a matter of time before many of these cases also reveal themselves to be true as new reports involving the same family continue to be made to the child protection agency” (“We Can Do Better”). Not only does the state government need to be involved in child abuse, but also the federal government. If the national government has files of parents who were reported abusing their child, they could be tracked down even if they move to another state. The national government defined maltreatment deaths:
“Fatal child abuse may involve repeated abuse over a period of time (e.g., battered child syndrome), or it may involve a single, impulsive incident (e.g., drowning, suffocating, or shaking a baby). In cases of fatal neglect, the child’s death results not from anything the caregiver does, but from a caregiver’s failure to act. The neglect may be chronic (e.g., extended malnourishment) or acute (e.g., an infant who drowns after being left unsupervised in the bathtub).” (“We Can Do Better”)
There is a “substantial undercount” of child maltreatment deaths due to what some researchers say is the wrong classification of maltreatment as they are considered “unintentional injury deaths”. (“We Can Do Better”). Nearly fifty-six percent (about 700 thousand) of the abused and neglected children were unreported (“Ignoring the Danger”). Children die at a young age due to brutal actions made by their parents or caregivers. There is a need for stricter government regulations so that children are not left feeling powerless resulting in foretold deaths. Stricter government regulations are needed, as unfit parents are not weeded out because of poor regulations. Parents smoke marijuana or cocaine and get high, drink to get drunk while having their children living under the same roof. Six-year-old Elisa Izquierdo’s life was a fairytale but ended in a nightmare (“God Bless”). When she was born cocaine coursed through her veins. The mother was sent to a drug rehabilitation program due to her drug abuse. Elisa was sent to live with her father who cared for her dearly. Her good fortune was over when her mother got custody for occasional weekend visits. Elisa’s mother used her daughter’s hair as a mop, which then led to Elisa’s hair falling out. Elisa became a victim of a violent mother who was unfit to care for her…