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Kurt Worthmann, Teresa Stearns, Katie Macken, Stuart Adams
Over 3 million reports of child abuse are made every year in the United States; however, those reports can include multiple children. In 2007, approximately 5.8 million children were involved in an estimated 3.2 million child abuse reports and allegations. Almost five children die everyday as a result of child abuse. More than three out of four are under the age of 4.
The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2007 is $104 billion. more than 1.25 million, or 1 in every 58 children in the United States, were abused in More than half (61 percent) of the children (771,700 children) were victims of neglect, meaning a parent or guardian failed to provide for the child's basic needs. Forms of neglect include educational neglect (360,500 children), physical neglect (295,300 children), and emotional neglect (193,400).
Great Britain created National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. New York was the 1 st State to legislate a law for protecting children passed in 1800’s. 1960’s; child abuse was recognized as a noticeable condition which threatens the life of a child. 1962; federal Children’s Bureau created a law on how to report child abuse. 1970; all 50 states had their own laws on reporting child abuse 1974 Congress set forth the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect
Different social norms from present days and the past Socially acceptable to “beat” your child Masculine Discipline
Child abuse is abusing the child in result of affecting the child physical or emotional well being or even resulting in the death of a child. How much is too much? Child Discipline can be seen as “training” the child and having them understand his/her consequences. Imposed or set consequences for children will gradually enable them to create self- discipline.
In physical abuse, unlike physical forms of discipline, the following elements are present: Unpredictability. The child never knows what is going to set the parent off. There are no clear boundaries or rules. The child is constantly walking on eggshells, never sure what behavior will trigger a physical assault. Lashing out in anger. Physically abusive parents act out of anger and the desire to assert control, not the motivation to lovingly teach the child. The angrier the parent, the more intense the abuse. Using fear to control behavior. Parents who are physically abusive may believe that their children need to fear them in order to behave, so they use physical abuse to “keep their child in line.” However, what children are really learning is how to avoid being hit, not how to behave or grow as individuals.
Neglect Physical Sexual Psychological Medical Other
Include strategies such as crises hot lines, support groups, school based programs and parenting education classes. Prevention in today’s world is heading down a different path and has taken on a new focus. We’re “targeting the potential victim rather than the potential perpetrator” and adding “an emphasis on primary rather than secondary or tertiary prevention (Daro p200).”
Which are most effective? Primary prevention programs differ in two different ways, those are training methods and program content. Training methods are then further broken down into two more groups; information based approaches where the child is essentially lectured and learns through observation and behavioral skills training (BST) programs where the child is to roll play and interact in a real life situation.
Secondary Prevention of child abuse deals with children and families who have not yet dealt with abuse but are at high risk for it. Families considered to be under secondary prevention show the coming signs and risk factors of abuse.
There are many risk factors that can put a child at risk for abuse. Some of the main factors are : - Parent related - The Community - Child related
Teenage parents Single parent Substance abusing parent Parent with history of abuse or depression Unwanted pregnancy Parent with multiple children Parent with lack of self-esteem, maturity, social support, and parenting skills
Economic stress High crime rates High unemployment rates High poverty rate Low or lack of social services
A child is at a higher risk for abuse if it is: - Handicap - Premature - Has a low birth weight
- Support groups or education programs for parents, especially teen parents, that are offered in schools. - Home visiting programs that offer support to young mothers. - Daycares for special needs children. - Family resource centers that offer advice and information to low income families.
Final level of prevention Focuses on families where child abuse is already occurring This prevention decreases negative consequences as well as preventing a relapse in abusing the child
Intensive Family Services- where families work with trained mental health counselors who are available 24/7 for a short period of time (ex. 6-8 weeks). Parent Mentor Programs- Stable, non-abusive families are portrayed as prime examples by assisting and working with unbalanced, abusive families. Mental Health Services- work in creating a healthy, balanced family by providing help to children and adults affected by maltreatment.
Parent or guardian shows little to no concern for the child. The parent act as if the child is worthless, burdensome, bad, or annoying. Parent will deny existence of problems with the child at home or school. Parent may handle child aggressively, such as grabbing their arm tightly or dragging them.
90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members. A problem with most prevention programs is that they depict the perp as a stranger. The reason for this is that instructors feel uncomfortable with examples or illustrations of known individuals presenting sexual abuse lures to children. They stick with portraying strangers as the number one offenders because it’s more socially/morally acceptable.
Carol O’Brien Master Trainer for “Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey” Life Coach Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Rutgers University.
How to stop child abuse? Why is child abuse a problem?
31% percent of women in prison in the United States were abused as children. Over 60% of people in drug rehabilitation centers report being abused or neglected as a child. About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse. About 80% of 21 year old that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder. Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy. Abused teens are 3 times less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs Children who have been sexually abused are 2.5 times more likely to abuse alcohol. Children who have been sexually abused are 3.8 times more likely develop drug addictions. Nearly two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused as children.
- Bethea, Lesa. "Primary Prevention of Child Abuse - March 15, American Academy Of Family Physicians." Home Page -- American Academy of Family Physicians. 15 Mar Web. 14 Apr Author unknown. "Framework for Prevention of Child Maltreatment." Child Welfare Information Gateway. Web. 14 Apr Garcia, Leticia. "We All Can Help Prevent Child Abuse - Opinions | Tri- City Herald : Mid-Columbia News." Front | Tri-City Herald : Mid- Columbia News. 17 Apr Web. 19 Apr Kopp, B., & Miltenberger, R. G. (2009). Evaluating the Acceptability of Four Versions of a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program. Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 31(3), doi: /