Developing an Appropriate Response to Child Abuse Essay

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Child abuse is one of the fastest growing social problems in the United States. A social problem is, “a condition that a significant number of people believe to be a problem. A condition in which there is a sizable difference between the ideals of a society and its actual achievements” (Coleman et al. 2006:2). However, society has changed the way it views the issue, and is working towards finding a solution to this awful problem. Child abuse encompasses four main areas: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. Child abuse is considered a sociological phenomenon because it is a learned behavior. Learning the social patterns as to why people abuse will give a better understanding to its reasons, and also the …show more content…
“The child abuse dilemma is complicated by yet another disturbing question. How can a society that is healthy conscious enough to require air bags in automobiles, limits on advertising for cigarettes, and warnings about alcohol consumption during pregnancy be so ineffectual about the neglect, abuse, and murder of its children?” (Costin 1996:5).
There are often many different factors that lead to child abuse, which sometimes include more than the abusers state of mind, including their circumstances such as poverty, drugs, alcohol, and disability. However, the leading cause of child abuse is poverty. In a study done by the National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect, it was found that abuse is fourteen times more common in poor families whose income is under $15,000 (Bartholet 1999:4).
According to Califano (2001), another reason for child abuse is substance abuse.
Alcohol, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana are fueling this population explosion of battered and neglected children. Children whose parents abuse drugs and alcohol are almost three times likelier to be physically or sexually assaulted and more than four times likelier to be neglected than children of parents who are not substance abusers. The parent who abuses drugs and alcohol is often a child who was
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