Child abuse happens to children everyday as sad as it may sounds, and many children do not get to live a happy healthy life. “Child abuse happens when a parent or other adult causes serious physical or emotional harm to a child. The most serious cause of child abuse can end in the child’s death. Children who may survive may suffer emotional scars that linger long after the physical bruises have healed. Children who are abused are more likely to have problems building and maintaining relationships throughout their lives” (Izenberg). “They are also more likely to have low self-esteem, depression, thoughts of suicide, and other mental health issues” (Lyness). The three most common types of child abuse are physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect of the child.
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First, when people think of child abuse, their first thought probably is of child abuse, such as, striking, kicking, or shaking a child. Physical abuse can also include, Abusive head trauma, or shaken baby syndrome, is a specific form of physical abuse. This is the leading cause of death in a child abuse case in the United States. Even though, most incidents last just a few seconds, that’s enough time to cause brain damage or even kill a baby (Jong). Physical abuse is the most visible form of child maltreatment. Many times, physical abuse results from inappropriate or excessive physical discipline. Furthermore, a parent or care giver in anger may be unaware of the magnitude of force with which he or she strikes the child. Other factors that can contribute to child abuse include parents’ immaturity, lack of parenting skills, poor childhood experiences and social isolation, as well as frequent crisis situations, drug or alcohol problem ad domestic violence (Children, Youth, and Families).
A second type of abuse is neglect. Neglect is any, or inaction on the part on a caregiver that causes a child physical or emotional harm. For example, withholding food, warmth in cold weather, or proper housing is considered neglectful. Basically, anything that interferes with a child’s growth and development constitutes neglect (Korfmacher). This also includes abandonment. This occurs when a child is left alone for extended periods of time or suffers serious harm because no one was looking out for him or her. Another example of this are failing to provide medical care when a child is injured or sick, locking a child in a closet or room, placing a child in dangerous situations that could be lead to physical injury or death (Sanders).
A third time of child abuse is emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is maltreatment which results in impaired psychological growth and development. It involves words, actions, and indifferences (Jantz). Abusers constantly reject, ignore, belittle, dominate, and criticize the victims. This form of abuse may occur with or without physical abuse, but there is often an overlap (Garbarino). For example, emotional abuse is verbal abuse; excessive demands on a child’s performance; penalizing a child for positive, normal behavior, such as smiling, mobility, exploration, vocalization, manipulation of objects; discouraging caregiver and infant attachment; penalizing a child for demonstrating signs of positive self-esteem; and penalizing a child for using interpersonal skills needed for adequate performance in school and peer groups.
Any type of child abuse is something a child so not have to go through. The effects of the emotional abuse alone are horrible. The consequences of emotional abuse can be serious and long-term (Rich). Many research studies conclude that psychopathologic symptoms are more likely to develop in emotionally abused children. These children may experience a lifelong pattern of depression, estrangement, anxiety, low self-esteem, inappropriate or even troubled relationships, or a lack of empathy. As for neglect, there are different types such as, physical neglect which is the failure to provide adequate food, shelter, and clothing appropriate to the climatic and environment conditions. Another example is the failure to provide, whether intentional or otherwise, supervision or a reliable person to provide child care (Brittain).
Amy Hahn (www.americanhumane.org)
“In this issue of Protecting Children, child welfare researchers and practitioners from across the Nation shares the lessons they learned from the National Quality Improvement Center on Non-Resident Fathers and the Child Welfare System (QIC NRF). The QIC NRF is a 5-year (2007-2011), federally funded project to promote knowledge development around engaging non-resident fathers of children involved in the child welfare system, and the impact of that engagement on child safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes. Through a previously commissioned report entitled What About the Dads? and through the Child and Family Services Reviews, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found evidence that very little meaningful engagement occurs between child welfare system professionals and fathers of children involved in that system. The QIC NRF selected four sites to implement a model intervention known as Bringing Back the Dads, a peer-led, 20-week course for fathers. An evaluation was conducted to assess model fidelity, examine the barriers and strategies to overcome barriers surrounding the intervention, and measure outputs and outcomes related to non-resident fathers in the child welfare system.”
“I came to understand the importance of fatherhood through its absence—both in my life and in the lives of others. I came to understand that the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill.” President Barack Obama
“Diversity is not about how many heads you count; it’s about how much those heads count.” Dr. Johnnetta Cole