Child Abuse and Neglect Refers
Child abuse and neglect refers to any harm or maltreatment that can be brought upon a child. Child abuse can range from physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Physical abuse is when an adult commits an act that can leave a physical injury such as scratches, burns, and cuts. Emotional abuse according to Prevent Child Abuse America is maltreatment which results in impaired psychological growth and development(2016).
Sexual abuse is when a child is used or exposed to sexual stimulation. Child neglects on the other hand, pertains to a child’s needs, it is defined as a type of maltreatment related to the failure to provide needed, age-appropriate care(Psychology Today, 2018). Child abuse is of major concern, approximately 3 million cases of child abuse and neglect involving almost 5.5 million children are reported each year(American Academy of Pediatrics, 2018). Although, it may appear that child abuse and neglect comes from strangers lurking the unknown, the truth is that the abuse comes from the dangers within the child’s home, the caregivers.
Reports show that caregivers commit 85% of the homicides of children 10 years of age and younger; strangers are the killers only 3% of the time(Meadows, 2019). The big gap in percentages between caregivers and strangers presents where and with whom the problem lies, but not why. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the major reasons for physical and psychological maltreatment of children within the family often are parental feelings of isolation, stress, and frustration(2018). There are many factors that play a role into child abuse but, the main source behind child abuse and neglect is stress. Stress can arise from the family environment, the family environment can consist of the household size, lack of resources, and a single parent household, or a household with a mentally disturbed parent. Any of these factors can contribute to the abuse or neglect.
These components combined can make anyone feel overwhelmed, but it is a parent’s responsibility to take necessary action to put their child’s needs, and health first. In addition, these components are all connected to finances. Financial difficulties is a characteristic contributing to child maltreatment (World Health Organization, 2016). The idea alone of not having money can affect your mental health. Therefore, the child is not to blame for the abuse, the abuse arises from surrounding factors. Abusive parents are either deemed unfit to raise a child or lack the necessary resources to cope with all of life’s obstacles. These emotions of helplessness and stress can overcome them resulting in abusive tendencies.
In attempts to reduce child abuse and neglect today, we put that responsibility on teachers, other school personnel, social workers anyone other than the family members. Specifically, the Child Welfare Information Gateway, run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has a child abuse prevention programs intact directed towards the general public, but even that strategy known as the primary prevention is ineffective because it focuses on informing and bringing awareness to the problem to the public.
However, as noted, child abuse is a domestic problem and, thus, these professionals can only do and know so much of what occurs inside the child’s home. Even with these people making reports to Child Protected Services, only 402,330 of the 683,000 child victims actually received services, nearly 60% of the victims had no other choice but to still endure the child abuse and neglect (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2015). Other prevention strategies are in place but are not initiated until after the abuse has already occurred. This problem should be addressed and directed to the parents before the abuse and neglect can occur.
Make parents take a personality and financial questionnaire test right after delivery of child and if they appear unfit then they take the child away. ? Not aware? In high school make them take a parenting class so they are informed of the risks and consequences.
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