History Of Child Abuse, The Types Of Abuse, And Effects On Juveniles

4089 words - 17 pages

IntroductionThe abuse and neglect of children has transcended through generations and across race, class and ethnicity. Historical evidence shows that children were perceived as nothing more than property and were subjected to numerous forms of maltreatment. Children are often enslaved, beaten, prostituted and even killed at the hands of parents and guardians upon whom they are dependant. Gelles and Straus, 1979a note, "the family is perhaps the most violent social group and the home the most violent social setting, in our society"(p. 15). A small child has a significantly higher chance of being killed or severely injured by their parents than by any one else around them. Collins and ...view middle of the document...

Despite the fact that these two definitions are different, they both are similar in that they both stress the point of deliberate or intentional, which makes the act not accidental. Child abuse can be divided in to four types. These are namely physical, sexual, emotional or physical and neglect.Physical AbuseThis is the most visible form of abuse and these injuries can result from pinching, beating, kicking, biting, and burning. The indicators of physical abuse are bruises on the body or of an unusual pattern, burns, and lacerations on the lip, eyes, face, gum tissue or the groin area, fractures of the bones, head and internal injuries such as the intestines, kidney, ruptured blood vessels and inflammation of the abdomen. Physical abuse has increased in Barbados from 213 in the year 2000 to 270 in 2002 however there are some behavioral indicators, which a child who has been physically abused may exhibit. The child may become extremely passive so as to avoid being noticed or become aggressive as a means of expressing rage and frustration.Sexual AbuseKaplan 1998 defines sexual abuse "as forced, tricked, or coerced sexual behavior between a younger person and an older person"(p.205). This type of abuse is the least reported and the perpetrator is usually male and the victim female. The abuser may use physical force, bribery, threats, and tricks or take advantage of the child's lack of knowledge. Physical signs of sexual abuse in children consist of bruises on the child's bottom, inner thighs or genitals, genital bleeding, or irritation and difficulty walking. There may also be swelling, itching, and painful cuts in the genital or anal area. Genital discharges are often common as well as sexually transmitted infections and even pregnancy in adolescence. Child sexual abuse includes touching and non-touching behaviors. Touching behaviors include:1. Touching a child's genitals such as the penis, testicles, vulva, breast, or anus for sexual pleasure or for other unnecessary reasons.2. Making a child touch someone else's genitals or playing sexual games.3. Putting objects or body parts like fingers, tongue or penis inside the vulva or vagina, in the mouth or anus of a child.Non-touching behaviors include:1. Showing pornography to a child.2. Exposing a person's genitals to a child.3. Photographing a child in sexual poses.4. Encouraging a child to prostitute or listen to sexual acts.5. Watching a child undress or use the bathroom without his or her knowledge.Some behavioral indicators include withdrawal from usual activities, fear of closeness or physical contact, sleep disturbances, hints about sexual behavior, thumb sucking, bed wetting, change in behavior or eating habits, drop in academic performance and poor self image.Emotional/ Psychological AbuseEmotional or psychological abuse is often the most challenging to detect because there are not physical scarring or bruising yet, it is the most prevalent and cruelest, most destructive form of abuse....

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