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Information About Child Abuse & Prevention By: Antonio Harris 1.

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2 Information About Child Abuse & Prevention By: Antonio Harris 1

3 Things That Are Going To Be Acknowledge Child Abuse and Neglect: Definitions, Risk Factors, Incidence, Costs, and Prevention 2

4 Definition of Child Abuse and Neglect Child abuse is any act that endangers a child’s physical or emotional health and development. Child abuse and neglect often take place in the home. The child often knows the abuser well – a parent, relative, babysitter, or friend of the family. Child abuse and neglect crosses all ethnic, racial, social, and economic lines. There are four types of child maltreatment: – Neglect is failure to provide for a child’s basic needs including physical, educational, and emotional needs. – Physical abuse is physical injury as a result of hitting, kicking, shaking, burning, or otherwise harming a child. – Sexual abuse may include indecent exposure, fondling, rape, or commercial exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials. – Emotional abuse is any pattern of behavior that impairs a child’s emotional development or sense of self-worth, including constant criticism, threats, and rejection. 3

5 Risk Factors for Child Abuse and Neglect For the Family Social isolation Poverty and other socioeconomic disadvantage such as unemployment or lack of education Family disorganization, dissolution, and violence (including intimate partner violence) Poor parent-child relationships and negative interactions For the Parent/Caregiver Stress and distress Mental health conditions Lack of understanding of children's needs, child development, and parenting skills History of child abuse in family of origin Substance abuse Young, single, and non-biological parents Thoughts and emotions supporting maltreatment behaviors 4

6 For the Community Community violence -- leading to high incidents of trauma, strain, and fear for families For the Child Children younger than 4 years are at greatest risk for severe injury or death Disabilities or mental retardation in children that may increase caregiver burden In childhood, boys are at higher risk and experience more severe abuse; in adolescence, the risk increases for girls, especially the risk for sexual abuse 5

7 Protective Factors for Child Abuse and Neglect For the Family Supportive family environment Nurturing parenting skills Stable family relationships Household rules and child monitoring Parental employment Adequate housing Access to health care, social services, and concrete services For the Community Caring adults outside the family who can serve as role models or mentors Communities that support parents and take responsibility for preventing abuse Cost of Child Abuse The cost of abuse to a child lasts a lifetime. The cost to our country as a whole is $103.8 billion annually, according to a recent report by the Pew Charitable Trust. That equates to $284 million per day in hospitalization, health care, mental health care, child welfare, law enforcement, judicial system, special education, juvenile delinquency, loss of productivity, and adult criminality 6

8 Long-term Impact of Child Abuse 22% of maltreated children have learning disorders requiring special education. 27% of children who are abused or neglected become delinquents, compared to 17% of children in the general population. In a study of 17,000 adults, those abused as children were more likely to become suicidal; more likely to have heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, and liver disease; twice as likely to be smokers; twice as likely to be severely obese; twice as likely to become alcoholics; and three times a likely to develop a drug addiction. A study conducted in 2009 showed an increased risk of STDs in childhood abuse or neglect survivors tracked over time. Investing in Prevention Prevention of child abuse and neglect requires public education and a commitment from communities to provide emotional, social, and financial support systems for families. Research shows that investing in child abuse prevention programs – including parent education classes, safety programs designed to make children less vulnerable targets for abuse, and home visitation – yields a 19 to 1 savings over the long-term costs to society of child abuse. The American Medical Association reports that preventing child maltreatment may be a key factor in preventing youth violence. Intervention may help prevent future domestic violence and dating violence. 7

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