Child Abuse Means a Physical Maltreatment
Child abuse means a physical maltreatment or sexual molestation of a child. When a child is starting to experience abuse, they change. They suddenly don’t show affect for a certain relative or they don’t want to go over to that relative’s house. They get an attitude or change their behavior. Most people just see this as they are growing up and rebelling.
When children start making sexual remarks or start displaying sexual behaviors with other young children, those are signs of sexual abuse. If a child starts to bully or harass other young children, those are signs of emotional abuse. As a result, if a child sees an adult abuse another adult, the child has the possibility to do it too.
There are risk factors that can put children in harm’s way, for example, if a parent or caregiving abuses alcohol or drugs the child is at a higher risk of being abused. Other individual risk factors include; history of child abuse or neglect, nonbiological caregiver (mother’s male partner), single parent, and low-income (Risk). Family risk factors include; social isolation, family disorganization, violence, poor parent-child relationships, and negative interactions (Risk). Community risk factors include; community violence, high poverty, high unemployment rates, high density of alcohol outlets, and poor social connections (Risk).
Prevents for child abuse are being a nurturing parent, get involved in your community, promote programs in school, monitor television and internet usage, volunteer at a local abuse prevention program, report suspected abuse or neglect, and help yourself, neighbor, friends, and family (Prevent Child Abuse). The best way to prevent child abuse is to involve yourself, everyone needs help occasionally especially if someone has a lot of kids and just needs a little alone time. Being there for someone can go a long way.
There are different types of child abuse; child neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, childhood experiences, shaken baby syndrome, domestic violence, and trafficking and exploitation. A child could go through one of these or several them. If a child went through any of these it can affect them in their adult life. For example, children during the Industrial Revolution were put into factories or coal mines to work countless hours and puts them in dangerous situations. Since children are small and can fit into tight and low places they were used to work. Children as young as six years old would be brought into the factories or coal mines to work (Child Labor). It was not until 1938 Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act, it fixed minimum ages 16 for working during school, 14 for certain jobs after school, and 18 for dangerous jobs (Child Labor).
Approximately seven million U.S. children come to the attention of Child Protective Services each year. That means, 37% of American children are reported to Child Protective Services by their eighteenth birthday and African American children are reported at 54%.(Child Abuse) The children of the United States are being targeted from the moment they are born till the day they passed away, they have a possibility to be neglected or abused in their lifetime. Although, for some children, the abuse never stops. The average age for girls going into prostitution is twelve to fourteen-year-olds and the average age for boys is eleven to thirteen-year-olds (Child Abuse).
When a child is abused or neglected it has a cost. Child abuse and neglect cost the nation 220 million dollars every day (Gelle). The money goes towards investigations, foster care, medical treatment, and mental health treatment. After all of that, the money later goes to special education, juvenile and adult crime, chronic health problems, and other costs across the lifespan. In 2012, it was estimated that U.S. citizens would pay 80 billion dollars to address child abuse and neglect (Gelle). Abusing and neglecting children affects everyone, even if they aren’t part of the family. The terrible costs of child abuse and neglect, it can be prevented.
The social structural perspective holds that child abuse is class related. The abuser is not responsible for the abuse because it sanctions inequality, and low standards of health, housing, education, and leisure for the children of the poor (Literature). This perspective does not address sexual abuse or emotional abuse, which, is not linked to class or poverty. It also does not say why most poor people do not abuse their children (Literature).
In conclusion, child abuse is a very serious problem in the United States. If a child is abused, it can affect them for a lifetime and may lead to problems in their adulthood. Children need to be loved and nurtured for development and grow. Abusing or neglecting a child will only set them back. If someone is struggling with getting everything they need for their child, help them, it will benefit the child. If you suspect someone is neglecting their child, please call (1-800) 422-4453 or go online to https://www.childhelp.org/hotline/sponsor-hotline (Sponsor).