Child Abuse - A Hidden Epidemic in America
There is a well-known but grossly underreported crime that is occurring daily, not only abroad, but right here in the United States as well. This crime not only affects a person at the time of the event, but for a lifetime. Although there are better attempts being made to further understand its diversity and complexity, the question still lies, is enough being done to control and prevent it from happening. This crime is child exploitation and abuse. Though it seems absurd to most, it is certainly happening worldwide and there is documented evidence that will be explored in this research paper. By examining this documented evidence I will ...view middle of the document...
Throughout history, the prevailing norms have considered physical punishment to be necessary for maintaining discipline, conveying religious, educational, cultural and moral ideas; pleasing gods, and expelling evil spirits. Additionally, ancient Greeks and Romans included sacrificial killing of children in an effort to strengthen their society by killing retarded and deformed children.
Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children. The United States has one of the worst records of reported instances of child abuse among industrialized nations. As a nation, we are losing on average between four and seven children everyday to child abuse and neglect. This trend has to stop.
In our modern society, the impact of child maltreatment on individuals, families and society is devastating. Many serious long-term effects have been linked to child maltreatment, including mental retardation, intellectual and intelligence handicaps, poor interpersonal relationships and behavioral problems to include extreme temper tantrums, hostility and overt violence. Between 1000 and 4000 children die in the United States each year as a result of child abuse.
Throughout history, attitudes toward children and childrearing methods and ideologies have changed drastically. Of course individually every parent has a different view and expectations of their children and what they believe a “good” or “bad” kid is and how to handle these situations as they arise, but as this first reference will show, what we believe to be child abuse today was the norm of society back centuries ago.
Referencing The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to Protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse, by author Christiane Sanderson, she indicates child abuse is broken down into four categories: physical, emotional, sexual, and neglect. In her book she refers to a man by the name of Lloyd deMause who has written countless articles on child abuse. Some of his research and data dates back to the fourth century. As he shows how parenting styles have changed He explains the fourth century parenting as the infanticide mode. He explains, in this era children were born to meet the needs of the parents and any defective children would be considered the reason for parents bad luck. Horribly, because of this attitude many unwanted children were “disposed of”. DeMause explains between the fourth and the thirteenth century children were seen as evil and were often beaten and kept distant from their parents. Some were even sold into slavery. This era he coined as the abandonment mode. By the fourteenth to the seventeenth century parents became more emotionally attached to their children but yet still feared them to be on the brink of evil. The parenting style at this time was to mold children by restraining them and beating them. DeMause called these times the ambivalence mode. By the...