The majority of abuse that takes place is done sopsychologically rather than physically. Many children are simply ignored bytheir parents and have little or no involvement with them because of this. Children are also verbally abused and therefore get “beaten down”psychologically. Those who are abused psychologically tend to be very dependentand take care of themselves, have poor self-esteem and confidence, and can havea poor relationship with their peers. On the other end of the spectrum, physicalabuse occurs in 30 percent of child abuse cases.
A very serious result ofphysical abuse is known as SBS (Shaken Baby Syndrome). This condition is causeby violent shaking of a small child, which in turn causes the brain to bruiseand eyes to bleed. Seizures, partial or total blindness, paralysis, mentalretardation, and death are all results of this form of abuse. The main reasonwhy this abuse occurs is the parents frustration from a crying baby. Theparent doesnt want to hit the child, so they shake the child back and forthto make him or her stop crying.
Children show many signs of physical abuse intheir day-to-day life. These signs include: shying away from adult contact, lackof trust, aggressive behavior, self-destructive behavior, extended days awayfrom home, and even suicide attempts. On average, fifteen out of every 1,000children in the United States are abused either psychologically or physicallyeach year. In 1999 1,185 children died from physical abuse.
An important thingto consider regarding child abuse is the child abuser. There are many ways toidentify whether or not someone is an abuser or not. Typically, a child abuseris a harsh disciplinarian, describes his or her child consistently in a negativeway, the explanations of the childs injuries are not probable, and he or shebecomes defensive or refuses to explain when asked about the childs injury. The abuser may have a social or psychological problem such as depression or lowself-esteem. Other conditions may be that there is an alcohol or drug-relatedproblem, some lack basic skills of normal child development and parenting.
Someof the child abusers have unreasonably high standards for the child to love upto, and when the child can not live up to them then he or she feels that it istheir duty to discipline the child. This discipline may lead to child abuse. Stress is another factor for child abuse, but probably not the only factor. Theabuser may never have even had the thought or the urge to abuse the child butunder so much stress sometimes they do not understand that their punishmentwould be considered abuse or they do it not realizing what they are doing.
Theabuser may show signs of disregard for the child’s needs, welfare, limitedabilities, and feelings. Many abusive parents believe that children exist tosatisfy the parents needs and that the child’s needs are unimportant. Thechildren who don’t satisfy their parents needs may then become the victims ofabuse. Sexual abusers may have unusual personality traits and behaviors that canresult in sexual contact with a child. Sexual abusers may use threats, bribery,coercion or force to get the child to engage in sexual activities.
This violatesthe natural trust between the child and adult, and if goes untreated may lead toemotional and mental problems later in life and the abused child may become theabuser. The child may not tell anyone because the abuser has threatened him orher not to tell. Although child abuse is something that has just recently beentaken seriously, many advances have taken place to prevent it. The CPS (ChildProtection Service) has grown by 40 percent over the past two years.
Publicawareness about this issue has grown enormously as well. Child abuse is veryhard to get rid of completely because of human nature. However, if people cantry and identify the problem before it grows into a way of life, perhaps it canbecome less common. .