Сhild abuse is an important topic of discussion in society. Many children become victims of acts of violence.
Victims of child abuse remain at great risk of developing a number of long-term disorders and psychopathology, which does not follow a homogeneous pattern (Mash & Wolfe, 2005). The ramifications of abuse are widespread, impacting a child's emotional, intellectual and physical developmental course, with negative implications for self-concept, relationships, parenting, and multiple aspects of functioning throughout childhood into adult life (ibid).
The matrix of potential risk factors of abuse may further demonstrate the complexity of this problem, incorporating victim-offender characteristics, family factors, socioeconomic considerations and other situational/ environmental factors. The psychological factors involved in child abuse interact in unpredictable ways to precipitate abuse and are manifest in a wide spectrum of effects for the child and adult. No single cause and effect relationship may be implicated without first considering the complex matrix of psychological factors involved, and the multi-dimensional nature of abuse, integral to the application of interventional strategies in this instance.
Child abuse includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; while child neglect results from parents not able to or refusing to provide the needs for their child. Both forms can happen to homeless children who are starving and sick or to a child whose parent was abused as a kid too. This is a problem for kids all over America in any religion or race. The best solution for this is public awareness and education on abuse. Without those, no one would hear about the cases of child abuse and the numbers of child fatalities would continue to grow with nothing being solved. This solution needs to be done now so the problem can be reduced. People should start with teaching children about safe places in schools and doing spreading awareness about child abuse through media. If these things happen, people can continue to come up with solutions and children suspected of being abused can get the help they need.
Physical abuse is a crime unless the behavior falls within the discipline exception for corporal punishment. Most cases of physical abuse are likely to be classified as misdemeanors unless a child is seriously injured or dies. A minority of neglect cases involve criminal conduct. When the failure to supervise, protect, or provide care for a child rises to a certain level of negligent treatment, it may meet the criteria for violation of criminal codes (e.g., child endangerment or criminal neglect) and can be prosecuted. Just because child abuse and neglect fall within the statutory definition of a crime, however, does not mean it will be fully investigated by law enforcement and prosecuted.
Law enforcement investigations and prosecutions tend to focus on sexual abuse and on serious physical abuse and very serious neglect that have resulted in a child's experiencing physical harm or death (e.g., starvation, inflicted medical trauma).
Another problem is that most child abuse goes unreported. According to US Administration for Children and Families (2015), 1,670 children died from abuse and neglect in the United States. Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the U.S annually. Child abuse can be considered a crime universally, so why are so many child abuse cases unreported? There are various reasons people do not report suspected child abuse. Many believe that they must have proof of the suspected abuse and this is not true. Some have the fear that the family will be torn apart, but in severe cases where children are being abused or neglected, the main priority is the child’s safety and in those cases, they should be removed from their caregivers or parents because they are not protecting the child from harm, they are causing it.
Another reason child abuse goes unreported is because of lack of resources, reporters may not know how to report, if they have reported in the past, they may feel as if nothing was done about that case and there may be retaliation for reporting someone for child abuse.
Child abuse can have short-term and long-term consequences. There are connections between disability and child abuse. Child abuse can cause disability in children. Studies have proved that disability can be a consequence of abuse. In Canada, child maltreatment is recognized as one of the major public health problems affecting child development (Afifi, 2011; Jack, 2010). Understanding and Preventing
Child Maltreatment. Short-term or long-term damages to physical, behavioral, psychological health are common effects of child maltreatment. Improper brain development, a shaken baby syndrome caused by brain injury, learning disability, blindness, cerebral palsy from head trauma, the battered child can also be disabilities resulting from child abuse.
Consequently, child abuse might complicate already existing disability in a child. For instance, depression, aggression, anxiety, destruction, smoking, alcoholism, engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors are some of the behavioral consequences that could compound pre-existing disability.
Children with disabilities may be more exposed to abuse. There are dependable researches that say children with disabilities are at increased risk of maltreatment compared with non-disabled children. Ordinarily, children with autism, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, hearing impairment, speech/ language difficulties, mental retardation often experience psychological, neglect and physical abuse. Also, sexual abuse is very common among children with speech/language difficulties and mental retardation. Furthermore, children with more than one type of disability are not only at greater risk of maltreatment, but the level of abuse is also likely to be more severe and of longer duration (Sullivan and Knutson, 1998).
Moreover, Prevention is the key in reducing all child abuses. Application of effective programs and approaches like improving parenting practices and providing family support, changing abusive behavior among parents and caregivers, visit of
social worker to homes, educational campaigns (sex education in schools), increase awareness of child abuse among the general population and reporting of abuse by victims or third party will play a major role in eradicating child maltreatment. Joe’s little brother, Thomas told his teacher about Joe. His mother had to send him to school after the visit of the social worker to their house. This was the beginning of his transformation. Joe is now an advocate for child abuse and human trafficking.
In conclusion, Child abuse is a major problem being experienced all over the world today. Children who are victims of either neglect, physical, psychological and sexual abuse, or a combination of them can experience one form of disability or the other. These include mental and physical disabilities as well as behavioral and emotional problems. These imply that if child abuse is prevented or reduced, then disability and long-term effects of disability would drastically reduce all over the world.
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