What is Child abuse Essay? It is the physical or emotional abuse of achild by a parent, guardian, or other person. Reports of child abuse,including sexual abuse, beating, and murder, have climbed in the UnitedStates and some authorities believe that the number of cases is largelyunder reported. Child neglect is sometimes included in legaldefinitions of child abuse to cover instances of malnutrition,desertion, and inadequate care of a child’s safety. When reported,child abuse cases are complicated by inadequate foster care servicesand a legal system that has trouble accommodating the suggestiblenature of children, who are often developmentally unable to distinguishfact from make-believe (Hay, 1996). In 1993, the United States Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglectdeclared a child protection emergency.
Between 1985 and 1993, therewas a 50 percent increase in reported cases of child abuse. Threemillion cases of child abuse are reported in the United States eachyear. Treatment of the abuser has had only limited success and childprotection agencies are overwhelmed (Lewitt, 1997). Recently, efforts have begun to focus on the primary prevention ofchild abuse.
Primary prevention of child abuse must be implemented onmany levels before it can be successful. Prevention plans on thesocial level include increasing the economic self-sufficiency offamilies, discouraging corporal punishment and other forms of violence,making health care more accessible and affordable, expanding andimproving coordination of social services, improving the identificationand treatment of psychological problems, and alcohol and drug abuse,providing more affordable child care and preventing the birth ofunwanted children. Prevention plans on the family level include helpingparents meet their basic needs, identifying problems of substance abuseand spouse abuse, and educating parents about child behavior,discipline, safety and development. Primary prevention is both theprevention of disease before it occurs, and the reduction of itsincidence.
In the case of child abuse, primary prevention is definedas any intervention designed for the purpose of preventing child abusebefore it occurs (Hay, 1996). Between 1985 and 1993, the number of cases of child abuse in theUnited States increased by 50 percent. In 1993, three million childrenin the United States were reported to have been abused. Thirty-fivepercent of these cases of child abuse were confirmed.
Data from variousreporting sources, indicates that improved reporting could lead to asignificant increase in the number of cases of child abuse verified bychild protection agencies. The lack of verification does not indicatethat abuse did not occur, only that it could not be verified. Thefacts are that each year 160,000 children suffer severe or life-threatening injury and 1,000 to 2,000 children die as a result of abuse. Of these deaths, 80 percent involve children younger than five yearsof age, and 40 percent involve children younger than one year of age. One out of every 20 murder victims is a child. Murder is the fourthleading cause of death in children from one to four years of age andthe third leading cause of death in children from five to fourteenyears of age.
Neonaticide, which is the murder of a baby during thefirst 24 hours of life, accounts for 45 percent of children killedduring the first year of life (Lewitt, 1997). As I stated above, deaths from abuse are under reported and somedeaths classified as the result of accident and sudden infant deathsyndrome might be reclassified as the result of child abuse ifcomprehensive investigations were more routinely done. Most childabuse takes place in the home and is started by persons are know to andtrusted by the child. Even though it has been widely publicized, abusein day-care and foster-care settings accounts for only a small numberof confirmed cases of child abuse. In 1996, only two percent of allconfirmed cases of child abuse occurred in these settings. Child abuseif fifteen times more likely to occur in families where spousal abuseoccurs.
Children are three times more likely to be abused by theirfathers than by their mothers. No differences have been found in theincidence of child abuse in rural versus urban areas. Following arethe types .