Child Abuse and Neglect

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When thinking about statistics on child abuse, it’s very helpful to know that the idea of “child abuse” is very controversial. Recently, in particular homes and cultures, child abuse has come to be seen as a major social problem and a main cause of many people’s suffering and personal problems. Some believe that we are beginning to face the true prevalence and significance of child abuse. There is more to child abuse than just the physical scars; children are affected socially, mentally, and emotionally. According to the American National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, in 1997, neglect represented 54% of confirmed cases of child abuse, physical abuse 22%, sexual abuse 8%, emotional maltreatment 4%, and other forms of maltreatment 12%. Physical abuse is defined as physical aggression directed at a child by an adult. It can involve kicking, striking, shoving, slapping, burning, bruising, pulling ears or hair, stabbing choking or shaking a child. Child neglect is when the responsible adult fails to provide adequately for various needs. These may include; physical, mental, educational, and medical. Out of all the possible forms of abuse, emotional abuse is the hardest to define. It could include; name-calling, ridicule and degradation, destruction of personal belongings, torture or destruction of a pet, excessive criticism, inappropriate or excessive demands, withholding information, and routine labeling and humiliation. Most abused and neglected children never come to the attention of government authorities. This is true for neglected and sexually abused children, who may have no signs of harm. In the case of sexual abuse, secrecy and intense feelings of shame may prevent children, and adults aware of the abuse the child undergoe... ... middle of paper ... ...and destroyed newly-formed neurons. The areas of their brains responsible for the "management" of their emotions were 20% to 30% smaller than in other children of the same age. It would be logical to conclude that this damage can result in any child (not only Romanian) who suffers such abandonment and maltreatment (Dr. Alice Miller, 1998). Works Cited • Dr. Alice Miller, Childhood Trauma, presented as a lecture to the YWHA, New York City, 1998 • Jim Hopper, Ph.D. “Child Abuse: Statistics, Research, and Resources for Recovery." 1996 • Lowenthal, 1996, p. 22 • Nelson, D., G. Higginson, and J. Grant-Worley. "Physical Child Abuse Effects." Child Abuse: Effects, Statistics, Types and Stories of Abuse. Nov. 1995 • "Scientists at University College Target Child Abuse." Pediatrics Week 5 Feb. 2011: 324. Health Reference Center Academic. Web. 8 Feb. 2011.

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