Child Abuse- Social Problems

Social Problems Child Abuse Child abuse is the physical, sexual, emotional mistreatment, or neglect of children. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or also known as CDC defines child abuse as any act or series of acts by a parent or other caregiver that could result in harm to a child. Most child abuse occurs in a child’s home, but it could also be found within organizations, schools, or communities that the child interacts with. There are four major categories of child abuse: neglect, physical abuse, psychological/emotional abuse, and also sexual abuse.

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In the story I selected, it shows many signs of sexual and physical abuse within a little girl and her older brother. Of course the mother chose to neglect the problem because the daughter would never reveal to anybody, not even her counselor, what had happened. Eventually she did tell somebody and was able to get treatment. In this essay, I’m here to inform you on the cultural and structural factors I researched to give you some information on why children are abused in their homes based on sociological imagination.

Child abuse dates back as far as the 1800s, but most researchers believe it goes back further than that. But surprisingly child abuse wasn’t an issue until the late 1800s when a 9-year old girl named Mary Ellen received publicity after being found bound to her bed and beaten severely by her step-mother. This led to the first child protection association in the country. Research shows that in 2001, approximately 40 million children are subjected to child abuse each year globally. Many structural factors are involved with child abuse and neglect, such as poverty, inadequate housing, and etc.

Although many issues have come about over other forms child abuse, researchers show that poverty and inadequate housing are associated with increased abuse and neglect. Violence also is an issue that has become a topic. Violence in the household, community, or at school affects a child’s brain. In the story, it says that the brother had Autism and because of negative reactions of his medication, it made him go through rages and become violent at times. It also says that he would bully the daughter by telling her if she told their parents that no one would believe her.

This action really affected the child and confused her, making her shy and scared to confront the problem. Along with violence, poverty, inadequate housing, gender is also another issue that has become important and associated with child abuse, especially if the parent is single and/or poor. Unfortunately, more children are being raised in highly stressed families. Consequently child abuse and neglect is increasing dramatically. In the story, it says that in the beginning the parents were together.

But during the summer, they had gotten a divorce. So during the summer, the children would spend summers with their dad. Of course, the little girl didn’t want to stay because she knew her dad barely paid attention to her because he would always be at work. So the little girl would claim she had a stomach ache, urinate on herself, throw up or become unattractive to avoid her brother touching or abusing her while they were alone. Still the parents didn’t notice the signs that their daughter was trying to reach out to them.

Although gender is associated with structural issues of child abuse, it also interacts with cultural issues. Cultural factors are another issue many children experience in child abuse and neglect. Although not seen in the personal story that I researched of any cultural factors dealing with child abuse, I seen examples that might help others see that a child’s culture/religion does show in other countries dealing with child abuse. In India, children are perceived as financial burden and are forced to marry in exchange for money.

Stated in an article, due to financial crisis in the family, many young girls are sold to brothels. Another country that exhibits cultural factors of child abuse is Japan. It states that unwanted children were placed in coin operated lockers due to neglect. Many children died inside the lockers. In the late 1900s, it became a serious problem. What do you think would be a solution to the problem? I believe a solution to child abuse should be laws that restrict parents from neglecting or maltreatment to their children.

If any parent is caught or reported neglecting, abusing or treating their child improperly, then the child should be taken from their parents and put in a foster home where they can be treated properly. In the story I read, the little girl eventually tells a counselor what had happened and was able to get help from a counselor that she sees every week. As for the boy, he was put in a mental hospital and had to see a psychiatrist for psychosexual counseling. I believe if I was in the little girl’s predicament, I would’ve told my parents the first time it happened so they could have got help for her brother as soon as possible.


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