Child Abuse is Defined
Child abuse is defined as any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation”; or “An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm. This definition of child abuse and neglect refers specifically to parents and other caregivers. A “child” under this definition generally means a person who is younger than age 18 or who is not an emancipated minor. This definition was provided by Child Welfare gateway. Permitting the information from this description is true Child abuse is a prevalent problem is our society.
The mistreatment of a child for many is the sad and honest truth and those of us who want to take a stand against such atrocities need to do so as there are a great number of children abused today. There are many websites dedicated to the cause to help stop or prevent child abuse. There are many television shows and even celebrities who try to assist this cause.
Child abuse comes in many forms, sexual which includes unwanted physical contact of a minor or a person under the legal consenting age; Physical which consists of the bodily harm of any persons under the age of 18 which more often than not leave visible scarring; Mental which can come in many different forms within itself, which consequently don’t harbor any visible scarring but can be considered the most perilous. Mental abuse can be the most damaging due to there not being any evidence so the people around the abused to see and try to step in to assist.
Being a victim of sexual abuse myself, I understand the long-term damage such an awful thing can do to a young person. Without a strong support system, love, support and most importantly counseling many never survive this barbarism. According to a 2005 study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, on San Diego Kaiser Permanente HMO members, reported that 16% of males were sexually abused by the age of 18, sad to say these numbers are up from previous numbers, as 2003 national study of U.S. adults reported that 14.2% of men were sexually abused before the age of 18. Many of these men went on to live fulfilling lives but some more often than mot did not survive this abuse. Some may have even become abusers themselves and thus continues the cycle of abuse.
Abusers often know which victims are easy pickings; they gain your trust and prey on the innocent and weak. Due to low reporting of such crimes many abusers get away with it and again the cycle of abuse continues once again. According to community counseling centers of Chicago there are nearly 10 million confirmed victims of abuse in this city alone. However abuse and neglect is preventable, they also stated in 2017 the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services confirmed 28,732 cases of child abuse and neglect; children under four years of age being the biggest part of abused children and at the greatest risk for abuse.
Male sexual abuse is one of the most under reported crimes, according to Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services Most research suggests that 10 to 20 per cent of all males will experience some form of sexual abuse or sexual assault at some point in their lives. Many men don’t report these crimes as they sometimes feel being abused makes them less than a man or like most abuse victims, they feel it is their fault or that they deserved it or asked for the abuse to happen in one way or another. It has also been said that men have less support groups and help being that they don’t often report these crimes.
Many victims of child abuse may feel that they are bad and deserve the abuse. They usually have poor self-esteem. In addition to physical injuries that may be the result of abuse, child victims may develop eating disorders or sleep disturbances, including nightmares. There are many signs in abuse victims that unfortunately go unnoticed. Abuse victims, as I’ve stated before, often blame themselves, maybe if they hadn’t been naughty, or gotten a bad report in school their loved one wouldn’t have hurt them. Abuse victims often lash out at people who are not their abusers, turn against friends or harm themselves.
Trauma in children can often take years to become noticeable, and many times it is too late to help the abused. The best help for an abused child is to seek professional help to work out the feelings and to get them out of the grasp of the abusers. I have someone who is very close to me who was once accused of child abuse. One day they were at the doctor’s office for a general checkup for their young child. Once the young child started acting up, my loved one let the young child know they were being naughty and if they did not behave immediately they would be reprimanded. Unfortunately for my loved one, the people nearby felt this was not the proper treatment of a toddler and decided to confront them to let my loved one know. This was the wrong thing to do, in my opinion.
My loved one immediately became defensive as they felt they did not do anything wrong. An argument ensued with my loved one and the personnel of the facility, which resulted in the police being called and my loved one being arrested for disorderly conduct and was charged with child abuse. Unfortunately in this case they were wrong and the child in question was 100% safe, they did what they thought was right and did everything they could to protect this child. Now if everyone would step in for the abused there would undoubtedly be less abused children in the world.