“In 1997 about 3 million children in the United States werereported as abused or neglected to government agencies that investigatechild abuse” (“Child Abuse”1). People who witness the child being abusedwill normally do two things: make a phone call to help the child or turnthere heads the other way because they do not want to get involved. How would one define child abuse? Child abuse, also referred to as childmaltreatment, is the result of physical or emotional trauma to a childinflicted from a parent or an adult caretaker (“Child Abuse”1). Child abusedoes not only affect those of a certain race or wealth. It does notdiscriminate from color, religion, sex or income. Child abuse can affectwealthy families as well as poor families.
Child abuse is a cycle. Children who grow up in abused or neglectedenvironment are more likely to abuse their children than a child who grewup in a healthy one. The cycle continues until it is broken by that childor by someone who is willing to help the child. The first form of childprotection came from a group called Society for the Prevention of Crueltyto Animals. Mary Ellen, an eight-year-old girl, stood up in the SupremeCourt of New York in 1874 and told her story of how she had never receivedlove from her mother.
The only thing she received from her mother was dailybeatings and whippings. The social worker that was working on Mary Ellen’scase turned for help to the founder of Society for the Prevention ofCruelty to Animals because the court was not going to acknowledge childabuse as breaking the law. The community activist that the social workercalled upon decided to use every resource he had to help convince thecourt. They won. The mother went to prison and Mary Ellen was adopted.
Shortly after Mary Ellen’s case, the Society for the Prevention of Crueltyto Children in New York was formed (Morales 2). Mary Ellen’s case helpedopen the public eye on child abuse in 1874. There are several types of child abuse: physical, emotional, sexual abuseand neglect. There are two types of neglect; physical and emotional.
Physical abuse is when a parent or caretaker is physically harming thechild, by beating, kicking or throwing them. “Physical abuse is 22% of allsubstantiated cased of abuse”(“Physical Abuse” 1). Physical abuse is theeasiest form of abuse to identity. The six physical indictors of abuse are bruises, burns, lacerations,abrasions, skeletal, head, and internal injuries. Bruising on a child’s body, when it is a result of abuse, is normally onthe body’s posterior and in unusual patterns. These are signs that thebruises are not accidentally related when in clusters, bruising on infantsand multiple bruising in various stages of healing.
Second are burns on a child’s body are also done in unusual patterns. Some signs of burns not being accident related are immersion burns:doughnut-shape burns on the buttocks. Cigarette burns on the hands andfeet, rope burns from confinement, dry burns caused by irons are all signsthat the child is being abused. Third are lacerations and abrasions.
When it comes to the lacerations andabrasions on the abused child’s body, it is usually on the lips, eyes, onan infant’s face, on gum tissue caused by the parent force-feeding thechild, and cuts on the external genitals. The fourth sign is skeletal injuries. Injuries include fractures of thelong bones from twisting and pulling, separation of bone and shaft, spiralfractures, detachment of tissue of bone and shaft, and stiff and swollenenlarged joints. Injuries like this are hard for a child to do on his orher own.
The fifth indictors are head injuries. Head injuries include missing orloosened teeth, absence of the hair, hemorrhaging beneath the scalp fromhair pulling, retinal hemorrhages from hitting or shaking the child andnasal or jaw fracture. The sixth form of physical child abuse is internal injuries. Out of thesix, internal injuries are not visible to the naked eye.It requires adoctor’s examination and testing to see if the child has internal injuries.For a doctor to determine if the injuries are a result of abuse he .