Essay on Child Abuse: The Epidemic That Must Cease

1443 Words6 Pages
Child abuse is epidemic in many countries as well as the United States. It is estimated that every thirteen seconds a child is abused in some manner: physically, sexually, emotionally or by neglect (Friedman). Each year, there are over 3 million reports of child abuse in the United States involving more than 6 million children. Child abuse can be reduced with proper education of the parents and with greater public awareness. Child abuse is the physical, sexual, emotional mistreatment, or neglect of a child. There are four major categories: neglect, physical abuse, psychological/emotional abuse, and child sexual abuse (Levi, Lo, Selby, and Vandenburg). Neglect is a passive form of abuse in which a perpetrator is responsible to…show more content…
Why people abuse a child varies depending on the person. Children resulting from unintended pregnancies are more likely to be abused or neglected. Over two thirds of cases that involve child maltreatment involve parents with substance abuse issues. The substances most commonly abused are alcohol, cocaine, and heroin. Unemployment and financial difficulties can also lead to increased rates of child abuse. Lastly, parents who physically abuse their spouses are more likely than others to physically abuse their children (Lo and Vandenburg) When a person is abusing a child, he/she does not think about the effects. When people are mistreating a child, they will be in the moment and not thinking of what they are doing. If an individual chronically abuses his/her child, he is not thinking about the effects the abuse has on his child. There are various long and short term effects of child abuse. Unfortunately, these short-term effects of child abuse are not the most frightening; most abused children do not have lasting physical effects. Other than some bruises and social withdrawal, short term effects are not clear. If asked about bruises, children will make up a lie to protect their abuser (Friedman). The effects of being abused as a child continue into adulthood and create the long term effects. The disturbing part is that abused children will most likely grow up to be troubled adolescents and adults who may even abuse their own children.
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