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Child Abuse - Research Paper Example

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Child Abuse Introduction Child abuse is a common problem all over the world. It is prevalent in all races, socio-economic groups and religions. In the United States itself, it is estimated that approximately 4 million children get abused every year (McDonald, 2007)…
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Download file to see previous pages The rates are probably much higher than these estimated numbers. Hence it is legal, ethical, moral and life-or-death decision to report and handle child abuse and neglect. It is not only difficult to identify abused children; it is also difficult to handle the management of these children. This article is intended to gain insight into various types of abuse, their effects on the children and strategies available to manage such children. Definition of child abuse and neglect The definition of child abuse and neglect varies from state to state and country to country. According to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) of United States (cited in McDonald, 2007), abuse is "a recent act or failure to act that results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or imminent risk of serious harm; involves a child; and is carried out by a parent or caregiver who is responsible for the child’s welfare." The definition is for that abuse caused by caregiver or parent of the child. Also, failure to act, because of which serious harm has resulted, is also considered as abuse or neglect. It is important to note that harm or negligence caused by other acquaintances or strangers is not considered as child abuse or neglect. While direct or indirect infliction of any sort of physical, mental or sexual injury is considered as child abuse, deprivation of the basic necessities like food, clothing, care and medical attention is considered as child neglect. Types of child abuse and neglect The most common type of child abuse is physical abuse. Anger on the part of the parent or caregiver can miscalculate the extent of damage that can be inflicted to the child resulting in physical injuries. In most cases, the injuries are unintentional. Physical abuse can occur from any form of physical act either by parent or caregiver or by any other person who is responsible for the child (McDonald, 2007). The injury may range from simple bruise to severe fractures. Since bruise is an indication of damage to body tissue and breaking of blood vessels, discipline methods which cause bruises are considered as child abuse. The physical abuse may even lead to death. These injuries are termed abuse irrespective of the intentions behind the acts. Neglect is another type of child abuse that merits importance (McDonald, 2007). Failure on the part of the parent, caregiver or guardian to provide for the basic needs of the child is called neglect. The neglect may be physical, medical, educational or emotional. Inadequate provision of required food, shelter and proper supervision is called physical negligence. Medical negligence is failure to provide proper medical care or appropriate mental health treatment. Failure to attend to appropriate education needs of the child on the part of the parent, caregiver or guardian is known as educational negligence. When there is no proper attention to the emotional and psychological needs of the child, emotional negligence ensues (McDonald, 2007). Allowing the child to consume alcohol and take illicit drugs or other dangerous substances or drugs is also considered as emotional negligence because, children do not know the difference between right and wrong and it is the duty of the parents or caregivers to help them adapt to good conducts and behaviors (McDonald, 2007). When child abuse involves sexual activity which cannot be comprehended to by the child, it is known as sexual abuse. While ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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