Effects Of Physical Abuse On Children

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Since birth children depend on adults to help them navigate and strive through life. These adults are supposed nurture and fulfill the child’s needs of basic necessities such as shelter, food, clothing. For some children this does not happen. Instead of providing children with love some adults and caregivers, non-accidentally, inflicts trauma or physical injury on a child, giving us the terms “physical child abuse” or “battered child syndrome.”
In 2013 there were approximately 679,000 cases investigated for child maltreatment and/or neglect. Of the 679,000 cases, eighteen percent of the children suffered physical abuse. The reasons for the abuse and the characteristics of the victims and perpetrators can vary, but the effects of physical abuse upon a child can potentially have the same outcomes. In order to address the problem of physical child abuse, one must research and understand the history, root causes, symptoms, associated variables, victim and perpetrators characteristics, and respective indicators. Although this abuse happens to the child directly, this problem is still a global issue. It is deeply rooted in economic, cultural, and social practices.
The History of Child Abuse and Neglect
The history of physical abuse is lengthy. For centuries the law failed to protect children from abuse. Up until the late 1800s, children were considered property of their fathers and the raising of the children was a private household manner left to the discretion of the father. This was until the 1874 case of Mary Ellen Wilson captured the nation’s attention. Mary Ellen was an eight year orphan that received daily whippings and beatings from her foster mother. Wheeler, Mary Ellen’s neighbor, learned of the abuse and cont...

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The younger a child is, the more vulnerable they are to being a victim of physical child abuse. Based on 2011 statistics from the Children’s Bureau, 57.4 percent of abused children under the age of seven with 34 percent of them being between birth and three years of age. (Crosson-Tower, 2014, p. 90). In addition to a child’s age that make them more prone to physical abuse, children with special needs are also at risk. Children that have physical disabilities, mental health issues, or are chronically ill can increase a caregivers burden, adding stress or more stress to the parenting role. (Washington, 2009. Although these are factors that make a child more vulnerable to abuse, the child is a victim and should not be blamed for being physically abused. It is important for a child and parent to have a healthy attachment bond and this bond should start at birth.
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