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Child Abuse Is a Silent Epidemic That Strikes Millions of Homes in America

Essay by   •  March 9, 2011  •  Essay  •  532 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,409 Views

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Issue Statement

Abuse is occurring every day in an uncountable amount of homes all over the United States. The US Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect estimates that 2000 children under the age of eighteen are killed by parents and caretakers each year. It is estimated that one in five children are physical, emotionally or sexually abused in our country. The four types of child abuse include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and physical neglect.

Physical abuse is described as any non-accidental injury to a child. The first documented case occurred before a law against child abuse was enforced. A man named Bergh heard screaming from upstairs and ran up to help. He found a ten-year-old girl being repeatedly stabbed with a pair of scissors by her parents because they thought she was a witch. Like others, physical abuse occurs in the privacy of a home and often goes unreported. Many misconceptions have been made about physical abusers. When child abuse emerged as a national issue in the early 1960's, many believed most perpetrators suffered from mental illness. In actuality, less than five percent of maltreatment cases falls in the "mental illness" category. However, evidence does show that physical abusive parents could be more easily aroused by social stimuli, and abusers may be slower habituation to the stimuli. Research has shown physical abusive parents are overly rigid, hostile, dependent, immature and suffer from decreased self-esteem. All of these traits interfere with the parent's copping ability with stress.

Sexual abuse is considered far more detrimental than physical abuse by many. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act describe sexual abuse as: a)the employment, use, persuasive, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct, or b)the rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with a child. The victims often were living with their mothers, in which the child was close to, and a step or foster father. In general, few individuals speak directly about sexual abuse. In many cases, no visible signs of abuse are on the child. The following indicators alone do not necessarily verify sexual abuse, they are general indicators of stress. Several,



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