All children have certainly many experiences before they became truly mature. A child can face lot of dangerous things from the environment surrounding them which might seriously affect their whole life. As definition in the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act: Child abuse is any action from adult to a child that it could be harmful to the child’s body or mental (Children Welfare Information Gateway 2007). In 2005, among 3.6 million investigations by Child Protective Services agencies in the U.S, an estimated 899,000 children (24.97%) were confirmed to be victims of child abuse
(Children’s Bureau 2005). In generally, there are 4 typical kinds of child abuse: neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment. Child neglect is situation that child’s primary needs were lacked from adults, especially parents or caregivers of the child. Physical child abuse is an adult’s action which causes visible or potential harmfulness to the child. Sexual abuse in children is any sexual activity from adult within a child. Emotional maltreatment is known as a behavior of children abuse that affects to psychology life or social skills of a child (Jaffe-Gill et al
2007). We can classify the reasons of child abuse into 3 different ways: parental causes, ecological causes and child problems (Childline Gauteng 2006). Besides, child abuse also has strongly influenced to all sides of the child’s life, such as: physical effects, behavior effects and emotional effects (Jaffe-Gill et al 2007).
This essay will discuss the causes and negative effects
of child abuse as well as provide suggestions to assist the victims.
It is completely surprising to know that one of the causes is due to the child’s parents. Actually, either the child’s father or mother falls into an addicted situation such drugs or alcohols, these children will not be able to receive suitable cares to grow up as usual. Even, the child will be beaten or neglected without any regret (Australian Childhood Foundation 2004). Based on the report from the Department of Health and Human Services, in 2006, approximately 82.4% abused child cases were made by at least one of the child’s parents (Childhelp 2006). There was a real story about an eleven-year old boy, named Josh, who had experienced extreme neglect during his younger years by his parents. After over a year receiving treatment at the Tennyson Center for Children in Colorado, Josh has finally rejoined to normal life (Tennyson Center for Children at Colorado Christian Home 2006).
Next reason of child abuse is come from the ecological causes. Surely, a family under poverty condition has always fought with serious problems in finance. Therefore, children from these families cannot receive enough daily food and minimum education for developing healthy. In addition, these poor-living children are easy to become victims of sexual abuse, especially the young or teenage girls. As the figure from NDAS, it is amazing to recognize that in District of Columbia, the children in families living under poverty scale had increased from 23.4% in year 2000 to 32.6% in year 2006 (National Data Analysis System 2008). In Jabalia City, Gaza till now, a 14-year-old-boy called Ayman has lived under the terrible conditions because of firearm struggles. Approximate 80% of families in Gaza have existed in poverty and depended on food aid (Abdullah, A. R 2008).
Last but not least, child abuse is often occurred due to child’s unexpected disabilities. Whenever a child is born with any weakness in body’s part, this unlucky child can be refused to foster by connected parents. As Baladerian wrote that minimum 15% population of children, in the U.S, suffered disabilities and the disability child had a probability of 3.5 times of being abuse compared to a normal child (Baladerian, N 2005). Carolyn’s story is a recalled childhood of her real life. Carolyn with disability has lived in over seven foster families till her teenage years. Sometimes, Carolyn felt that the foster adopted her because of money from receiving child welfare (Johnson, C 2005).
It is quietly simple to understand that children have to suffer certain visible injuries on their body causing by abused actions. Sometimes, an abused child terribly bears a fractal hurt as broken bones or burns. Even though, these damages are not only retaining on physical body but also changing child’s brain cells. In 2005, as report by the Administration for Children & Families, amount 16.6% victims were practically subjected to physical abuse in the U.S (Children’s Bureau 2005). Recently researchers in Canada and United States found that neglect can create transform in genetic material RNA (Fox, M 2008).
Child abuse, especially sexual abuse, has badly influenced on the child’s behaviors. Besides the physical and mental painfulness, abused child might jump into bad social activities, such as: adolescent pregnant, crime tendency, drugs addiction, etc. (Family Resource Center 2008). Based on recent studies, there were ¼ of abused children became pregnant, almost 59% arrested as teenagers and 3.8 times attacked by drug additions (Childhelp 2006). Few months ago, there was a heart-breaking story about Leatrice Brewer – lived in New Cassel, New York – who was arrested as a serial killer of 3 children but believed not her blame because Brewer was considered as drugs additions and experience of abuse during childhood (Vitello, P 2008).
Child abuse also makes a lot of invisible hurts to child’s emotion. Although painfulness of physical wounds can be healed over time, but abused damages deep inside child’s heart and mind are so difficult to relief that it can remain for a lifetime. As observation on the National Child Abuse Statistics in 2006, 80% of abused child might easily get psychiatric disorders at the age of 21 (including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder) and about 2/3 of drug abuse people experienced getting abused as children (Childhelp 2006). In Los Angeles 2003, there was a lawsuit persuaded by Richard and Blanca Lukaseiwicz because their son, named Richard Jr., suffered sexual abuse for the period time of high school at Don Bosco Technical Institute. In consequently, poor Richard felt so depressed that he killed himself (Sims, C 2003).
To prevent child abuse we might consider several methods as parent education, family supporting program and children welfare. First, we can organize the optional courses for young couples to give them basic education about how to become a healthy family. Beside, we must force the single or married people with addiction to get a medical treatment for breaking their circumstance of using drugs off (First 5 Service Corps 2008). In May 2006, the Prevent Child Abuse America Organization held a national convention on prevented strategies of child abuse for over 12,000 attendances (Prevent Child Abuse America 2006).
Second, we also need to deploy many social programs, such as: care-preparing or financed sponsors to support families living under poverty to increase their incomes. That means if the family’s finance becomes more stable the child will be given better care and education (Administration for Children & Families 2008). In U.K, if a child is living with either one or none of parents, this child will be applied a policy called ‘child maintenance’. So the child will receive a certain amount of money for daily expenditure (Child Support Agency 2007).
Third, the government must pay specially attention to offering more welfare to child with a disability. With financial assistance from government, a child with disability will have more opportunity being existent to social activities. As you can find at the National Deaf Children’s Society – in U.K, the child with a disability of hearing might get a lot of benefits to overcome the deaf situation, for instance: receiving child welfare, optional education, providing audiology (Directgov 2008).
In summary, whenever we do not take care of our children, it is easily for child abuse to happen. Although each man has own problems, but it is not fair if we throw all troubles to a child. In my opinions, child abuse is a complicated and sensible issue because it has just occurred when we have lost control of ourselves. Whatever the causes of child abuse, the most important thing is adults’ behavior. So, education is the best method for preventing child abuse. Through the training programs, adult might get a healthier life and children can have some skills of self protection. And I hope that in future children all over the world might keep away from child abuse.