Child AbuseMaltreatment of children is not a new phenomenon. It dates back farinto history, as far as the colonial times and even back to biblical times.
During the recent years child maltreatment has had an increase in the publicseye. There are many factors to child maltreatment. There are four generalcategories of child maltreatment now recognized. They are physical abuse,sexual abuse, neglect and emotional maltreatment. Each category, in turn,covers a range of behavior. The maltreatment of children not only affects thechildren themselves, but also affects the family intern making it dysfunctional.
Physical AbusePhysical abuse may be best defined as any non-accidental physical injuryby a person who has care, custody, or control of a child. The definitioncontains two key aspects, the act is intentional or willful, and/or the actresulted in physical injury. Accidental does not qualify as child abuse.
(Wallace,29)Physical abused children do not fit any type of stereotype. Abuseoccurs in all neighborhoods. Also, abusers come in all shapes, sizes, colors,and sexes. There are many signs of physical abuse.
First the location and types of injuries, many time the parent or caretakers will deny any wrong doing or the child has suffered any physical injury.
There are always those injuries that consist of a normal childhood upbringing,such as falling of their bike or bumping their head. Then, there are thosewhich they cannot be explained. When caretakers deny any injuries or have noknowledge of an injury, there is a very strong likely hood that physical abuseexists. Here are some of the signs of physical abuse.
Bruises happen for various of accidental reasons. There are alsobruises that are tell tale signs of abuse. Bruises have a time clock that cantell when it happened. Also, the location of the bruise can tell a story.
Bruises on the front part of the body are often signs of normal bruises fromjust falling ECT. Bruises found on the back of the arm, leg, lower back, thebutt and genital are suspicious bruises and often questioned bruises. Patternedbruising is also a sign of abuse. Normal bruises are in various shapes andsizes. While some bruises that are a patterned show strong signs of abuse.
These are bruises that have definite boundaries and sharp and curved edges. Forexample rope, rulers, hand prints and so on. (wallace,38)Burns are also a sign of abuse. Burns are patterned like bruises.
These burns would have sharp edges and spots that were spared from flexation.
Water immersion burns are common signs of child abuse usually caused by acaretaker holding the child in the water. Also patterned burns which are burnscaused by pressing hot objects on the child bodies.(wallace,42)Another sign of abuse is fractures. These types of fractures are signsof abuse. Spiral fractures are usually breaks in the humerus or femur resultingfrom twisting of the limb. Head and internal injuries are often signs of abuse.
Such as occasion, whiplash or shaken baby syndrome are examples of head injuries.
Chest and abdominal injuries are common in abuse. This is caused by hitting orgrasping a child.(Wallace,43)Sexual AbuseSexual abuse is defined as the sexual exploitation or sexual activitiesof children. A child under these circumstances will indicate that the child’shealth or welfare is harmed or threatened. Intra familial sexual abuse includesincest and refers any type of exploitative sexual contact between relatives.
There are many physical indicators of sexual abuse. Here are someexamples of physical indicators: difficulty in walking or sitting, torn, stainedor bloody underwear, bleeding, bruising and itching around the genitals and anal.
Frequent urinary tract or yeast infections. Pain on urination and so on. Thereare no pattern or causes of conduct that leads to sexual abusers.(wallace,58 and63)Child NeglectThe definition of child neglect is the treatment or maltreatment of achild by a parent or caretaker under circumstances indicating harm or threatenedharm to the child’s health or welfare. There are many theories of child neglectfrom poverty to non-fit parents. There are also many indications to childneglect.(Wallace,82)Some of the physical indicators are poor growth, constant hunger andmalnutrition. Poor body odor and hygiene, lice and inappropriate clothing.
Constant fatigue. Constant lack of supervision and unexplained bruises orinjuries as result of poor supervision. Unattended physical problems or medicalneeds, such as lack of proper immunizations, gross dental problems, need glassesor hearing aids.
Emotional neglectEmotional neglect is the constant act or omission which is judged by thecommunity standers and professional expertise to be psychologically damaging tothe child. Rejecting the child is one form of child neglect. This is whencaretakers refuse to acknowledge the children’s worth or emotional need. Forexample, a parent treats the child differently than his or her other siblings.
Isolating a child is when a caretaker does not allow the child to interact withothers. An example of this is when a child caretaker does not let them out ofthe house or even out of their room. Another type of emotional abuse isterrorizing the child, in which the caretaker establishes extreme fear andfright into the child.(wallace,88)Corrupting the child is another form of emotional abuse. This when thecare takers engage in anti social behavior with the child. Denying the childemotional responses, also the caretaker fails to provide emotional resourcesnecessary for the child’s health psychological development.
Other types of child neglect are dirty or unfit homes. These are housesthat are dirty and health hazards to the child or any other person in the home.
Drugs and alcohol abuse are considered neglect to the child.
This happens when a caretaker uses drugs and alcohol to an excess, thiswould make the caretaker is emotionally in unavailable to the child. Also, ifthe child comes in contact with the substances, they can cause serious harm.
For example, if the child ingests the substance. When a caretaker refuses toobtain acceptable medical services for a child, it is considered medical neglect.
Abandonment is also a form of neglect. This is when some caretakers conductindicates that conscious rejection of the obligations of parenthood.
Consequences of Child Abuse and NeglectConsequences of child maltreatment can be devastating. Researchers havefound that the effects of child maltreatment can affect the child’s life andalso the family itself. They have also found that not only the physical effectof the abuse, but also the long term effect that will occur later on in life.
Physically abused children were found to be less attentive in school andmore inclined to have hostile attributes. They are also less likely to managepersonal problems and stress. Abused and neglected children from poor socialskills that will affect not only them, but the others around them.
Also, this will affect the child’s self-esteem and performance in theirworld. Abused children can also lead to development delays and attentiondeficits.
The psychological and behavioral effects of physical abuse are sometimesover looked. These are some psychological and behavioral symptoms of physicalabuse. The child might be easily frightened or fearful of adults and parents.
The child might be destructive to themselves and other people around them. Also,extreme behaviors from aggressiveness to withdrawn. A child could attain poorsocial relations and learning problems and problems with school. They could runaway or have delinquent behavior. Physical aggression and antisocial behaviorare among the most common outcomes of physical abuse. Some studies have shownthat physically abused children show more aggression than maltreated children.
Consequences of physical child abuse have included deficiencies in developmentof stable attachments to an adult caretaker or parent. Poorly attached childrenare in risk of diminished self-esteem and thus views themselves negatively.
(National Research Council,212)Sexual abuse may affect each of the victims differently. Some of thevictims were affected more than others. It depends on a wide range of factors,such as age of the victim, how much force was used and the duration of themolestation. Also, the type of abuse will affect the child. The identity ofthe offender will affect of the child, if the child knew or did not know themolester. The age of the abused also has an effect of how much the childremembers. One of the biggest factors is the personality of the child. Thiswill have the biggest determination of the effect of the child. The behavioraleffects of sexual abuse. The child also will have fear and inability not totrust adults. They might also have anger and aggression toward people. Thechild may exhibit inappropriate sexual behavior. A child might suffer fromdepression, guilt and shame. More than likely, they will have problems inschool and social skills. Also, the child may have phobic or avoidant behaviorand regressive behavior.(National Research Council,215)Consciences of neglectful behavior can be severe and powerful in earlychildhood development. Also, lack of attachment may harm the development ofbonding between child and parent. Inter this could affect problem solving,social relationships, and coping with stressful situations.
It has been found that in the long run, parents that were neglectedduring their childhood often neglected their children. Also, the children thathave psychological damage from maltreatment are more likely to indulge insuicide and self mutilation. Nonphysically abused children are more likely tohave depression and hopelessness.
Children with inappropriate sexual behavior, such as frequent and overtself stimulation are a direct constituency of sexual abuse. Non-sexually abusedchildren later on in life also sometimes show sexual overtones. Sexually abusedchildren may show high levels of dissociation, a process in a product adisturbance in normal integrative functions of memory and identity. Many abusedchildren are able to self hypnotize themselves or space out.
It has been found that abuse as a child has affected their stages oflife. Studies have found that abused children have lower intellectualfunctioning and reduced cognitive functioning. Others have found languageskills and verbal ability to be affected by abuse. Also, studies have suggestedthat today’s abused and neglected children are tomorrow’s problem adult.
You can see in the media a lot of killers in the world tod