“Every year 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving nearly 6 million children (a report can include multiple children). The United States has the worst record in the industrialized nation – losing five children every day due to abuse-related deaths.” stated by Sara O’Meara. That’s a very depressing fact, especially because the United States has the worst record. That fact is solely based on the cases that were reported. Can you imagine all the ones that weren’t? There is so much information on this topic, but it seems that nothing is changing to stop child abuse and neglect. This is a huge problem even though there are many strategies to improve this issue it’s still not helping enough. Child abuse is a horrifying subject to bring talk about, but it needs to be approached.
Child abuse and neglect has been going on for centuries. It came to be noticed in the early 1870’s by a young girl, Mary Ellen Wilson, who was being whipped by her foster mother. After her case went before a judge citizens formed the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. A child abuse came again in 1962 when people read an article in Journal of the American Medical Association. This article described the symptoms of child abuse and it stated that child abuse could be medically diagnosable.
“Within ten years, every state had statutes known as “mandatory reporting” law. Mandatory reporting laws require certain professionals – doctors and teachers for example—to report to police suspected child abuse situations. A 1974 federal law further bolstered efforts to eliminate child abuse by funding programs to help individuals identify and report child abuse and to provide shelter and other protective services to victims.”
Stated on the Department of Children and Families website child abuse is defined as “a non-accidental injury to a child which, regardless of motive, is inflicted or allowed to be inflicted by the person responsible for the child’s care, includes any injury which is at variance with the history given, maltreatment such as, but not limited to, malnutrition, sexual molestation, deprivation of necessities, emotional maltreatment or cruel punishment.” Physical Abuse is the most noticeable on a child because you can see it.
Some examples are broken bones, fractures, bruises, cuts, burns, and more. Not all children will admit they’re being abused. Ways to tell that they are could be that the injuries are frequent, the child is afraid of touch, or seems to be afraid to go home. It’s much more difficult to tell is a child is being sexually abused or emotionally abused, but being abused in these aspects are just as heartbreaking and appalling. Children are being raped, not being fed properly, talked down too, being rejected of love, being left alone at a young age, and other awful things.
It’s not only abuse that can happen to a child, but there is also neglect. There can be physical, educational, and emotional neglect that can occur in a child’s life. Some examples of physical neglect are when parents or guardians don’t get proper health care for their children or don’t watch their children with proper supervision. These factors can really harm a child as much as people don’t want to believe it. Educational neglect is when the child isn’t enrolled in school or if a parent or guardian doesn’t want to put their child in a special needs program even if they need to be in one. It’s understandable that some people don’t want to put their children in a special needs program because they’re embarrassed or think they can fix the child on their own.
Well listen up parents, it’s known as neglect if the child isn’t helped in the proper way. Emotional neglect is extremely cruel because it’s when a parent doesn’t give the love a child needs to grow or allows a child to do drugs in the house, or drink underage. There are many examples I have left out in all three neglectful ways of being a parent or guardian because to be honest there is way too many to list. An extensive body of research provides promising and best practices on what works to improve child safety and well-being outcomes and reduce the occurrence of child abuse and neglect. These efforts are essential as child abuse and neglect have pervasive and long-lasting effects on children, their families, and the society.
Department of Children and Families provide safety and services. They do professional investigations and appropriate evaluations on physical abuse, emotional neglect, sexual abuse, medical, or educational neglect. Please make sure to report child abuse or neglect as soon as possible because the life of this child is very important and your phone call could make a huge difference.
After your report is complete, DCF begins their investigation within two hours of your call if there is a serious risk of physical harm to a child, and within three days for all other reports. Their number is 1-800-842-2288. Another good resource for providing help is American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “The AAP has a research program that helps to improve the methods of health care to children. It’s a professional membership organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical sub-specialists and pediatric surgical specialists.
The mission of the American Academy of Pediatrics is to attain optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults. To accomplish this, AAP shall support the professional needs of its members. It has 1,800 pediatricians in the research program and it is the longest-running research programs in the U.S. AAP is looking out for the health care of all aged children and is a great resource to get children the health care they need.” There is also ways a person can help the abused or neglected child themselves before calling for professional help. It’s important to look into strategies on how to help an abused or neglected child and to also get the abuser the help that he/she needs to stop this cruelty.
When you notice a child has been being abused or neglected a person can approach the child and ask them to explain their story. When the child tells their story try not to look horrified or shocked and don’t talk down about the abuser. If the child is not ready to tell their story don’t push the child to do so because it may drive them away. A child is not the only one who needs help when being abused, the abuser does also. The major reasons for physical and psychological mistreatment of children within the family often are parental feelings of isolation, stress, and frustration. Parents need to learn to cope with their feelings.
Support groups through local community organizations often are helpful first steps to diminish some of the isolation or frustrations parents are feeling. People truly need to keep their eyes wide open and stop being oblivious to child abuse and neglect. As horrific it may seem the statistics show that 6 million children a year are being affected by child abuse and neglect.
Please remember it’s not always easy to spot because it’s not just physical abuse that can happen to a child it’s so much more. Every type of abuse or neglect hurts whether it’s physical or not. Get in contact with Department of Children and Families or another child abuse and neglect group that you can contact if you suspect child abuse or neglect, it’s very important. Child abuse and neglect has been going on for centuries! Let’s try and stop it for happening to these innocent children!