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       What is child abuse? Many people today only view child abuse as only physical, but child abuse can take many forms rather than just physical abuse. Child abuse can come in many forms either if it’s physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, and even neglect. In this research paper I will be providing information about the general knowledge about child abuse and the types of abuse, what leads to abuse, statistics of children who are abused, and the signs of child abuse.

        Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver causes injuries, death, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation and emotional abuse to their child. Each type of abuse can affect a child severely when developing into adults but develop psychological problems. The different types of abuse are never the same and that is the biggest misconception that we have today. As caregivers, parents, or even friends we do not know the signs nor the knowledge of what is or isn’t child abuse. According to childhelp.org from the article “What Is Child Abuse” they explain the different types of child abuse a child can experience.

Physical Abuse

  • Physical abuse of a child is when a parent or caregiver inflicts any non-accidental physical injury to a child.

Sexual Abuse

  • Sexual abuse is when an adult uses a child for sexual purposes which involves the adolescent in sexual activity acts.

Emotional Abuse

  • Emotional abuse is when a parent or caregiver harms a child’s mental or social development which causes severe emotional harm to the child.

Neglect

  • Neglect is when a parent or caregiver doesn’t provide the need a child needs which includes the health, safety and well-being.

       When a child is abused by a caregiver or parent they tend to show signs each different from the other depending on the type of abuse they are experiencing. Most of the time a child who is a victim,  will have lack of trust and develop relationship difficulties. They also would have the mentality of feeling worthless, and also have difficulties regulating emotions. It is very difficult to understand and find the signs on a  child who is being abused. Neglect, physical, sexual, and emotional abuse can affect the child in so many ways that it can make spotting the signs of child abuse very difficult.

       For a child who is emotionally abused you can spot the signs in that child in a couple ways. Usually the child gets very anxious when he/she does something wrong in any case. If that child were to drop a glass cup and break, that child will be anxious and scared thinking that there will be a horrible outcome as a result of them breaking that cup. In some cases the child will play roles of an adult caring for their younger siblings, or either be quite infantile for their age. Emotionally abused children will always do anything to avoid their caregiver or parent.

       Physical abuse is the most common form abuse that most are familiarized. Signs for physical abuse are bruising, cuts, or welts on the child’s body. These bruises, cuts, or welts are usually pattern like injuries. Pattern like injuries are injuries that have a pattern as if they were inflicted with a belt or some other object. Children who are victims of physical abuse are afraid to go home or either wear clothing to hide those markings.

       Neglect is usually the form of child abuse that is rarely mentioned. A child who is neglected tends to wear unfitted clothing. They will also have terrible hygiene due to the caregiver or parent not providing the basic needs for that child. Academically a child who is neglected is either late or missing from school because they are never supervised by their caregiver or parent.

       Sexual abuse can be identified by the way the child walks or sits due to complications. Also a  victim would have knowledge of sexual activities at an inappropriate age. They will also feel uncomfortable changing or doing any sort of physical activities in public or school. A child who is sexually abused would do anything they can to try to avoid a specific person even if it means running away from home.

       According to childhelp.org on the article “Child Abuse And Neglect” they found studies on what leads the abuser to do such harm to a child. They concluded that the abuser either had a history of domestic violence when they were children. Which leads to them giving their child the same experience the abuser had. Drugs and alcohol can also play a role in child abuse because the caregiver or parent are influenced by drugs that they can’t control themselves. Untreated mental illnesses may lead to child abuse such as depression or bipolar. Cases like this  the parent or caregiver may not have the ability to care for the child. Lack of parenting skills, stress, or lack of support are all leading causes of child abuse. Lack of parenting skills is mostly experienced with pregnant teenagers who are too young to be parents.

       In the United States there are many arrested cases of child abuse. According to the child abuse law, if a child is a victim of child abuse the first step is for that child to be placed under protective services. Until a court appearance the parent or caregiver who is accused of child abuse will be given time to hire an attorney, as for the child he/she will be placed in foster care until the judge is informed about all the information of the abuse that took place.

       Statistically by the year of 2015 there were 1,670 deaths in the United States related to child abuse. According to the National Children’s Alliance there are nearly 700,000 cases of child abuse annually in the United States. Out of every case of child abuse the most common form of abuse was neglect. The National Children’s Alliance researched that “4 out of 5 abusers are the victims parents”. All of which 40 percent were the victim’s parent or caregiver and roughly 90 percent were related to that child.

       There are many ways you can help a child who is a victim of child abuse, but it is important to know the signs of abuse. According to the National Children’s Alliance, children never speak of the abuse due to many factors. They are either afraid to get help or the abuser threatens the victim from telling. Another factor would be that children are too young to understand what is happening that they are usually tricked into thinking that the abuse is just a game.

       Child abuse isn’t just physical but can come in many forms of abuse. Although it is complicated to spot the signs of abuse, it is usually the teachers or professionals who are the most responsible for finding these signs on a child. If a child has the signs of abuse it is important to understand how to approach them to get information, but also to get help for the child. Just by knowing the basics only you can make a difference and a save a child’s life.   

Work Cited Page

“Child Abuse and Neglect.” help.org. Edited by Melinda Smith, Lawrence Robinson, Jeanne Segal. May 2017. www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect.htm

“The Issue of Child Abuse.” childhelp.org. www.childhelp.org/child-abuse/

“National Statistics on Child Abuse.” nationalchildrensalliance.org. 2015. http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/media-room/media-kit/national-statistics-child-abuse

“7 Ways to Prevent Child Abuse.” kidsfirstinc.org. 2009. http://www.kidsfirstinc.org/preventing-abuse

“Child Abuse Law.” hg.org. 2017. http://www.hg.org/child-abuse.html