Child Abuse and Maltreatment Essay

1873 Words8 Pages
"Nearly five children die every day in America from abuse and neglect," according to Every Child Matters Education Fund (as cited by The National Children's Alliance, 2009). This goes to show that child abuse is a major issue in today’s modern society. In fact, statistics show that there are over 3 million reports of child abuse each year in the United States alone (“National Child Abuse Statistics,” n.d.). While the definition of child abuse and neglect changes from state to state, it is defined by The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) as, at minimum:
Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or an
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380). This form of infant abuse is known as infanticide, or the killing of an infant up to two years of age (Bartol & Bartol, 2012, p. 380). According to data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), children younger than 1 year accounted for 46.2% of child fatalities in 2009 (as cited in the Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2011). Infanticide can be broken down further into two terms, neonaticide and filicide, depending on how long after birth the child was killed. For example, if a new-born baby is killed within 24 hours after his birth, it would be neonaticide. If the child is killed after he reaches the age of one year, it would be filicide. These two terms exist because of the substantial differences between mothers who commit neonaticide and those who commit filicide. Shaken baby syndrome is another form of child abuse in which the parent, guardian, or caretaker shakes the baby so hard that serious brain damage occurs (Bartol & Bartol, 2012, p. 383). Several common symptoms of shaken baby syndrome are seizures, inability to lift head, difficulty breathing, difficulty speaking, blindness, lethargy/decreased muscle tone, extreme irritability, or inability of eyes to focus or track movement (“The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome,” n.d.). In some cases, death may even occur. According to Russell (2010), “of those children diagnosed with SBS, about 30% die as a result of their injuries, and only
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