Elderly Abuse, Teenage Pregnancy, and Proposed Solutions to These Two Family Problems

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There are many problems that plague families nowadays. These problems can affect anybody from the newborn baby to the 90 year old great-grandmother. Some problems can cause physical pain and leave the victim bloody and bruised, for instance abuse, while others cause mental anguish and financial hardship, such as teenage pregnancies. Many of these problems remain hidden, even with all the help that is usually available, because of embarrassment or fear of hurting a loved one. Although there are many proposed solutions, none have been effective enough to wipe the problems out.
Abuse is a problem that an estimated 1.57 million Americans over the age of 60 are facing each year. In 1991 only 227,000 reports were received nationwide, which is
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Legislators are attempting to curb the rise in abuse by introducing laws that stiffen penalties and give social workers more power. For example, on Aug. 11, 1994, the governor of New Jersey signed a law allowing social service investigators to obtain an emergency court order to enter homes where abuse is suspected (McGrath, 1994). They previously needed a police officer armed with a search warrant. The new law grants immunity from lawsuits to anyone reporting abuse. In some areas specially trained police officers have become part of investigative units to handle complaints of elderly abuse. More such investigators are needed. The solution, however, lies not only in criminal prosecution of abusers, but also in mental health and social services—counseling, daycare, nursing care, and volunteers in the home. “Until we commit ourselves to a zero-tolerance attitude concerning elder abuse—or, indeed, any abuse—it will continue unchecked and, by virtue of our silence, we will be guilty of helping it to remain,” said Gerald A. Larue, who proposed and ethical code for the treatment of the elderly (Larue, 1989).
Another big problem in the family is teenage pregnancy. Of the approximately 11 million adolescent females who are sexually active, about 1 million become pregnant each year in the United States. That works out to about 1 in every 10 teenage girls (Scattergood, 1990). A teenager is more likely to have pregnancy

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