Child Abuse and Neglect

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In Dent County alone, during the year of 2012, four children were physically abused, six were the objects of neglect, one was emotionally abused, and eleven more children were the victims of sexual abuse according to records kept by the Missouri Department of Social Services (“Child’s Division” 38). In that same year, 92,593 children were reported as being abused in the entire state of Missouri (“Child’s Division” 1). Fortunately, only 6,322 children were found to have been abused out of all of the children reported. However, an additional 7,092 were classified as ‘Unsubstantiated-Preventive Services Indicated.’ This means that not enough evidence existed to move further with prosecution, but still enough to indicate that abuse was imminent. Another 44,070 of the reports warranted an assessment of the child’s family in order to ensure the safety of the child (“Child’s Division” 5).
These numbers demand the public’s attention. The pain of just one child should be more than enough to cause a person to jump up and help, much less the pain of more than six thousand children. The U.S. Department of Justice calls children the “perfect victim” for six major reasons. Firstly, since children are typically not emotionally or physically mature, they will try to avoid talking about the abuse. The second reason that they provide is that often times the child does not want to betray the person who is abusing them due to the fact that, many times, the abuser is someone close to them or even related to them. Thirdly, many times there is not enough medical evidence or reliable eye witness accounts for the police to persecute a sexual predator. Unfortunately, the child’s testimony is easy for most any defense attorney to strike down. Two more reas...

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4. Long-term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect. Washington, DC: Child Welfare Information Gateway, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, Children's Bureau, 2008. Print.
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