In the US, approximately one out of seven children are subjected to child abuse or neglect in one year, with neglect being the most common issue. The most common forms of child abuse include physical abuse that comes second after child neglect, sexual abuse is the third most common offense, followed by psychological/emotional abuse.
Statistics from 2018 also show that approximately 16% of the children that were abused during that year suffered more than one type of abuse. These facts are more than enough to warrant people to write and educate others about this huge societal problem.
If a parent or guardian intentionally causes physical harm like whipping, burning, kicking, and choking, to name a few, that is physical abuse and must get reported when seen. Even if the child’s parents didn’t mean to hurt the child when he/she does get injured, that is also defined as physical abuse.
However, parents are not barred by the law to discipline their children using physical means as long as these do not cause injury. Non-violent disciplinary actions are preferred, though. Physical abuse can result in serious conditions psychological and emotional issues.
Learning about physical abuse can help you spot abusive parents by looking beyond telltale signs like aggressive behavior and unexplained or poorly explained injuries on a child. You will start looking for subtle signs like keeping a child away from social settings and delaying or preventing medical care.
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Child sexual abuse is defined as an act that involves an adult who exploits a child for sexual gratification or making one to be present during a sexual act. Sexual abuse in children is not always perpetrated by adults, though as older and/or more powerful kids can exploit weaker children into participating in sexual acts.
Statistics on sexual abuse say 20.7% of adults have reported being subjected to a certain form of abuse as a child. Child sexual abuse does not just involve intercourse with a minor as showing children pornography is also a serious offense alongside touching a child inappropriately.
Learning about parents/guardians who are sexual predators is important as you will start noticing red flags like being possessive over children and relying on them for emotional support.
Emotional abuse in children includes any remarks that a parent/guardian might make resulting in severe emotional damage or hamper a child’s social and mental development. While a single incident that is emotionally damaging can be classified as abusive, emotional abuse usually involves making a child endure emotional harmover a long period of time.
Learning about people who have been abused emotionally can help you realize their feelings of ignored or rejected by parents/guardians who show little to no interest in them. You will also know how emotionally abused children suffer the cruelty of being humiliated or shamed frequently by being mocked and criticized by their parents/guardians.
It is also important to learn that emotionally abusive parents don’t just yell at children and say destructive things. They also treat siblings differently, have anger management issues, and are disrespectful to other adults too.
Neglect in children means that a parent/guardian does not give the child the support, affection, supervision, and care necessary for their wellbeing. To lead healthy and safe lives, children need someone who will provide them with necessities like food, shelter, and clothing.
Educating others about parents/guardians who neglect their children will help the public realize red flags like leaving children with others repeatedly for long periods of time.
The public will also be aware of parents/guardians who neglect their children emotionally and parents/guardians who expose children to untoward behaviors like violence, crime, and/or drug or alcohol use.
People will also know common symptoms of child neglect in families like children who stockpile food, wear clothing that doesn’t fit, who battle with homework and school attendance.
Having a basic understanding of the things you must look out for in abused children or their abusive or negligent parents/guardians might make you wonder how you can help. The first thing you can do to help vulnerable children is reporting all instances you suspect to be child abuse or neglect. Another way to help children is to provide supportive responses and not acting disgusted or shocked when a child tells you that he/she is being abused.
Robert Everett works as a volunteer for a non-profit dedicated to child welfare and special educations programs. He’s a good academic writer and works part-time for an assignment service that provides essays and term papers. In his free time, he likes learning new languages (currently Spanish), DIY woodworking and watching WWE and NBA on tv.