child abuse saddest and most tragic problem today

Child Abuse: Saddest and Most Tragic Problem TodayChild abuse is one of the saddest and most tragic problems in Americatoday. Each year an estimated one to two million American children are beingbeaten, neglected, or sexually abused by their parents or guardians. Infantsonly a few days old as well as teenagers are subject to child abuse. There arefour types of child abuse: physical abuse, physical neglect, sexual abuse, andemotional abuse. Child abuse is a serious problem that plagues America’s youthand should be stopped.

Physical abuse is a form of child abuse that should be stopped as soonas possible. According to social agencies, beatings of children have multipliedover the past twenty years. Physical abuse is any abuse that is harmful to thechild. This kind of abuse includes the physical discipline which results inobservable injuries on the child. It also includes use of a life-threateningweapon, like a gun or a knife, against a child and any abuse resulting in death.

Any abuse which results in a sever injury requiring prompt medical attention,that could be life threatening, that could cause mental and/or physicalimpairment, could cause disfigurement, or chronic pain is too classified asphysical child abuse. Another form of physical abuse is any knowing or willfulmistreatment which in the opinion of a licensed medical doctor causes greatbodily harm and/or results in hospitalization for treatment of this injury orcondition; this may include physical injury sustained as a result of abuse orconditions which result from a parent’s willful failure to act to stop this fromhappening to the child.

Physical neglect is defined as failure to provide for a child’s physicalsurvival needs to the extent that there is harm or risk of harm to the child’shealth and safety. Physical neglect includes these four things: inadequatefood, inadequate shelter, inadequate medical care, and inadequate supervision.

Forty-two percent of all child abuse reports involve allegations of physicalneglect. The inadequate food element includes a child intentionally ordeliberately not getting fed or given water. It also includes a diagnosis by aphysician of failure to thrive because of a parent’s failure to feed the child.

Inadequate shelter includes prolonged and serious illness resulting fromexposure to the elements or to serious dangerous substances as evidenced byserious injury. Inadequate medical care encompasses the child not receivingmedical treatment for an injury, illness, or disability, and if leftuntreated, the condition is life-threatening, or will result in permanentimpairment, or is a serious threat to public health. Inadequate supervisionis dependent upon the child’s age, developmental level, willingness to stayalone, time of day, awareness of what to do in case of an emergency, whetherthe child is responsible for watching younger brothers and/or sisters, whetherthe child had any physical or mental limitations that would make it difficultor impossible for the child to care for himself/herself, and/or any otherapplicable circumstances.

Some signs of neglect are obvious in children and others are not. Asign of neglect is that the child/children have repeated injuries that are notproperly treated or adequately explained. Another sign of neglect is that thechild/children begin acting in unusual ways ranging from disruptive andaggressive to passive and withdrawn. Their sleep is disturbed (nightmares,bedwetting, fear of sleeping alone). They lose all of their appetite or theyovereat. There is a sudden drop in school grades or participation in school orafter school activities. They may act in stylized ways, such as sexual behaviorthat is not normal for their age group.

Sexual abuse is defined as acts of sexual harassment and sexualexploitation of minors. Sexual abuse encompasses a broad range of behavior andmay consist of many acts over a long period of time or a single incident. Thenature of sexual abuse, the shame of the child victim, and the possibleinvolvement of trusted parents, stepparents, or other persons in a caretakerrole make it extremely difficult for children to come forward to report sexualabuse. Sexual contact is the intentional touching of the victim’s intimateparts, whether on top of or underneath of the victim’s clothing, if thatintentional touching can be reasonably interpreted as being for the purpose ofsexual arousal or satisfaction. Sexual penetration includes oral sex, analintercourse, or any intrusion, no matter how insignificant, of any part of aperson’s body or object into the genital or anal openings of another person’sbody. Sexual abuse may also include child pornography, child prostitution, orexposure of children to sexual acts or materials depicting sexual acts.

Emotional abuse includes verbal assaults, ignoring and indifference, orconstant family conflict. It also includes punishments like locking the childin a dark closet. Sometimes such behaviors can cause serious mental disorders.

If a child is degraded enough, the child will begin to live up to the image thatis being communicated by the abusing parent or caretaker. This type of abuse isthe hardest kind to notice because it leaves no bruises. A child who isemotionally abused may seem withdrawn, or act out frustration by abusing otherchildren, animals, or belongings.

Child abuse is a serious problem that plagues America’s youth and mustbe stopped. Physical abuse and physical neglect can hurt someone to the pointof having to visit the hospital or even death. Sexual abuse can cause injuryand scar someone for life with the memories of the act or acts of sexual abusethe child had done to him/her. Emotional abuse can also scar someone for lifein the sense that it can change your all around behavior about the world andeveryone in it because of one incident or a series of acts that occurred in yourchildhood. Child abuse must be stopped in order to have a normal and prosperousyouth of tomorrow.


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