It is estimated that one to two million children is affected by child abuse each year. Victims range from ages of a few weeks to late teenage years. Child abuse has been around for hundreds and thousands of years. In the past twenty years, however, the number of cases has been multiplying. While most child abuse cases are not fatal, some do end in death. Some researchers have even labeled child abuse an “epidemic.
” Because more than fifty percent of child abuse cases are not reported, the exact numbers will never be known. In the 1970’s the United States government issued a survey about the number of child abuse cases. The survey showed that there are more than 60,000 cases of child abuse in some form each year. Another survey, in 1976 showed that the annual number of cases had grown to half a million. Though this study was found to have many repeated cases, the government estimated that the number of cases had risen to 100,000 to 200,000 cases per year. Dr.
Vincent Fontana, a doctor at New York City’s Foundling Hospital estimated that one and a half million children would be abused in any given year (Dolan 6). He predicted that 300,000 victims will be permanently injured,physically and/or emotionally, and that in the next five to ten year period 50,000 children will die (2,000 per year). He also predicted that it would surpass the top four leading causes of death (accidents, cancer, physical defects, and pneumonia). Child abuse can be classified into four basic groups:1.
Physicala. Sexualb. Physical Beatings2. Emotional3. Neglect4.
Moral, Educational, Etc. Physical abuse counts for twenty-four percent of all child abuse cases. Sexual abuse is twelve percent. Neglect counts the most with fifty-two percent, and emotional and educational abuse makes up the remainder.
Physical abuse comes in two forms: Physical beatings and sexual abuse. Physical includes any actions that injure a person’s body (Havelin 6). Hitting, kicking slapping, punching, burning, pulling hair, and poisoning are all forms of physical abuse. The use of belts, shovels, fists, feet, whips, chains, ropes, electric cords, leather straps, canes, baseball bats, wooden sticks, brooms, scalding water, coffee and any other hot liquids have all been used in some kind of physical abuse. Physical abuse can resulting bruises, scars, and broken bones.
Some may even cause death. Sexual child abuse has no real definition. It can be characterized as “any adult that allows themselves to force or coerce a child into a sexual activity” (Understanding . .
. 1). This may include fondling a child’s genitals, masturbation, oral-genital contact, digital penetration, and vaginal or anal intercourse. Effects of sexual child abuse on the victim may include anxiety, guilt, fear, sexual dysfunction, withdrawal, and acting out. More long term effects may include anxiety went associating with the opposite sex or inappropriate sexual knowledge, sexual interest, or sexual acting out by the young victim. Research has led researchers to believe that child sexual abuse victims are more likely to be victims of rape or physically abusive relationships as adults.
Studies also show that the majority of perpetrators are family members or are known by the child. Although it is thought that homosexual men are more commonly the perpetrators, heterosexual men are actually more likely to be the perpetrator (Understanding . . . 4).
Emotional abuse is classified as “anything that is said or done to hurt a child’s feelings or self-esteem”(Havelin 7). Words are not the only type of emotional abuse. Locking a child in a closet is also emotional abuse because it causes the child to feel negatively about themselves. Neglect is when a parent or guardian ignores or chooses not to take care of a child’s physical needs. Under law, parents must provide proper care, food, shelter, clothing and medical treatment (Havelin 6).
Neglect is the most common type of abuse in the United States today, happening more than twice the amount than physical abuse. Neglect happens more than physical, sexual, and emotional or educational, etc.put together!Educational neglect is when a parent does not care enough to make sure that their child is going to school, doing their .