The Tragedy Of Child Abuse In America

1082 words - 5 pages

Child abuse is the intentional infliction of physical, moral, and sexual pain and suffering on a child. It is performed mainly by parents who were maltreated as children themselves. There are many causes for child abuse. In some cases children are mistreated when parents or caretakers have maladaptive responses to stressful situations or feel powerless. Searching for relief, they may hit someone with even less power than they, and these are often children.

Other times child abuse is the result of family problems over which the abuser has no control. Alcohol was said to be involved in fourteen percent of the cases of abuse and in eighteen and a half percent of the cases of neglect. ...view middle of the document...

The kind of abuse varies depending on the age of the victim. Infant and pre-school children are more likely to suffer fractures, burns and bruises. This is called the “Battered child syndrome” discovered by C. Henry Kempe. Although school aged or adolescent females are more likely to suffer from sexual molestation, there is a recently growing number of sexual abuse of pre-school and male victims. The abusers are usually men. Neglect is the “physical or emotional harm resulting from parents failure to provide child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education and/or moral training.” A symptom of neglect is underfeeding. The narrower picture of types of abuse includes unreasonable physical violence, verbal abuse, failure to provide
proper shelter, foodstuffs, medical treatment or emotional support, incest, sexual molestation or rape, and the making of child pornography. Slaps and spankings are viewed by parents as a part of raising a child, however childless individuals are more likely
to view slapping and spanking as necessary, normal, and good. Slaps and spankings are or are not child abuse depending on the person who views it. Types of abuse vary incredibly.

There are many cases of abuse. In New York City approximately two children are killed by abuse per week. Specific cases include one of a twenty-eight year old mother who killed her three year old adoptive son of a fatal beating in Wyandach, Long Island. Also
one of a mother who punished her seven year old son by placing him in a heated oven.
There are thousands of these cases, but one that really stands out is that of
Elisa Izquierdo. She was conceived in a homeless shelter and was born in 1989 addicted to crack. Elisa was a favorite pupil at school, and loved by almost everyone. As soon as she was born she was custody to her father Gustavo Izquierdo. Gustavo was a wonderful
father until he died of cancer in 1993. Elisa’s mother Awilda was a crack addict, whose addiction was indirectly responsible for her pregnancy. In 1990, she had supposedly given up drugs, married Carlos Lopez, and settled at a permanent address. Because of
this, Awilda was assigned...

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