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Child Abuse

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Child abuse is the intentional and unexplainable neglect or infliction of Physical, Mental, or Sexual pain and suffering on a child. This is the definition you get when you look it up in the dictionary, but the truth is child abuse is becoming a horrible and unexplainable epidemic.

Who are child abusers? Most people come to the conclusion that child abusers are dirty people who are most likely in poverty. Those assumptions are every wrong. They can be anyone from the next-door neighbor, to your child's teacher, even preachers and minister's. Most child abusers have some common characteristics; they are violent and have mood swings. Child abusers were also most likely abused as children them selves. Also people who are stressed and who are in debt are more susceptible to be abusers.

There are a lot of different types of child abuse. Any type of child abuse not matter how big or small should be taken serious. There are many ways to abuse children. Although most types of abuse fall under four categories, these categories are Physical, Mental/Emotional, Neglect, and Sexual. In the next paragraph's I will explain these different types of abuse and some of the signs and symptoms of children who are being abused.

Physical abuse is defined as any non-accidental injury to a child. This includes hitting, kicking, slapping, shaking, burning, pinching, hair pulling, biting choking, throwing, shoving, whipping, and paddling. 9.1 per 100,000 children under age one are killed by homicide caused by Physical abuse. Hundreds of thousands of children are physically abused each year by a parent or close relative. The actual incidence of abuse and neglect is three times greater then what is reported. Child abuse is reported an average every 10 seconds. Thousands of children die and for those who do survive the emotional trauma remains long after the external bruises heal. Symptoms and signs of physical abuse are the following; unexplainable burns, cuts, bruises, or welts in the shape of objects, bite marks, anti-social behavior, problems in school, and fear of adults.

Emotional abuse is any attitude or behavior, which interferes with a child's mental health or social development. This includes yelling, screaming, name-calling, and shaming, negative comparisons to others, telling them they are "bad, no good, "worthless" or "a mistake". It also includes the failure to provide the affection and support necessary for the development of a child's emotional, social, physical and intellectual well-being. This includes ignoring, lack of appropriate physical affection (hugs), not saying "I Love You", withdrawal of attention, lack of praise, and lack of positive reinforcement. Emotional abuse is the least commonly reported type of abuse but probably the most common. Emotional abuse is extremely hard to prove in court. Signs of emotional abuse are empathy, depression, Hostility, stress, lack of concentration, and eating disorders.

Neglect is the most common form of abuse, and also the most commonly reported type of abuse. 2.67 million reports of maltreatment involving 3 million children were reported last year. Neglect is defined as the failure to provide for a child's physical needs, this includes lack of supervision, inappropriate housing or shelter, inadequate provision of food, inappropriate clothing for the season or weather, abandonment, denial of medical care, and inadequate hygiene. There are three types of neglect; physical neglect includes the following, driving with the child intoxicated, inadequate supervision, and expulsion of a child from home or refusal to allow a runaway to return home. The next is educational neglect, in which the parents allow chronic truancy, failure to enroll a child of mandatory school age in school, and the failure to attend to a special educational need. The last one is emotional neglect it includes as inattention to the child's need for affection, refusal or failure to provide psychological care, spousal abuse in front of the child, and permission of drug and alcohol use by the child. Children who suffer form neglect are usually dirty or unbathed, do not have suitable clothing, are extremely hungry, and have an apparent lack of supervision.

Sexual Abuse is defined as the exploitation of a minor for the sexual gratification of an adult. Sexual abuse includes fondling a child's genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, exhibitionism, and commercial exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials. Child sexual abuse can take place within the family, by a parent, sibling or other relative; or outside the home, for example, by friend neighbor, or childcare provider. Family Members including the father, stepfathers, uncles and older siblings, commit 47% if all sexual assaults in their homes.



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