Child Abuse in the Times We Live

Child Abuse in the Times We Live

“Children are suffering for a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. While 3 million reports of child abuse are made every year in the US , expert estimate that the actual number of incidents of abuse and neglect is 3 times greater than report” (national child abuse statistics –http://Childhelp.org/resources/llearning-center/statistics). These statistics are staggering. These are only the statistics of the United Sates; the country that was once looked up to by other countries and was once highly praised. Children suffer many consequences’ that are not their own. They suffer the consequences of their offenders’ actions. It affects them, as they get older and makes it difficult to trust people throughout the rest of their life. Our economic crisis affects the children of America and their families.

Child abuse is a dilemma that America and the world have faced since almost the beginning of time. It tends to be overlooked as not that big of dilemma or set in as the “normalcy of life”. This should not be. Child abuse is a problem and it needs to be stopped. This paper will take a broad in depth look at child abuse in the times of economic struggle that we are now in. it will also look at the effects it has on children , the different types of abuse that is most relevant today.

The economy affects the business men and woman on Wall Street, putting stress on the job and in their lives. It affects the farmers in rural communities, making it difficult for them with the low price for their crops. The economy affects people like a fast spreading plague, and it does not stop at financial, it puts a devastating blow on families causing stress in the home and high tension. They are worried about how the food can be put on the table, a roof over their families head, will they make it? Will they find another job if they get laid off? How can they provide for their family if the only job they can find is at McDonalds flipping burgers? With the entire stress and questions in their life, they cannot handle the many questions, which their child asks. They can’t take it when the baby is crying once again, they cannot handle the nonstop bills coming in, the jobless unknowingness of the future. In anger and at their wits end the strike out at their child for something that is not the child’s fault.

The reports of child abuse has drastically risen in the past year according to Kate Randall the shelter in Texas that provides care for abused children and woman that are walk-ins at a Texas shelter was up by 240% over one year ago and the number of woman and children staying in shelters has increased 71%. Hotlines for abuse have doubled. In Texas they have seen huge jump in family emergencies, according to the Allstate foundation this year, there was an 83% increase with hotline calls, walk-ins and families staying at their shelters. There are people who are being affected by abuse and they are desperately in need of help, but with lack of money on the governments help due to cutting a lot of the funding to help these shelters and programs for children who have been abused puts limitations on the help they can offer.

The most common abuse that is prevalent today is shaken baby syndrome. When a parent gets stressed it is all too easy to shake the baby. Brendan Farrington stated an interesting fact about shaken baby syndrome when he said “ of the 35 confirmed shaken baby deaths last year, 20 of them involved families receiving food stamps or other financial assistance….and with the economy getting worse its logical that the deaths will increase.” He also said that “the problem is made worse because prevention programs are losing money during the down economy as state and local governments cut budgets.” So with affects of the economy isn’t necessarily limited to job and financial struggle. The children are suffering from it as well. People act out of anger and without thinking they shake their baby. Farrington was talking to George Sheldon when he said, “the more violent, and burst of anger where the child dies-the shaken baby stuff.” The common signs of baby shaken syndrome are dilated pupils, loss of hunger, and nonstop crying. Some of the people of America took action against shaken baby offenders, such as one man known as Darryl Gibbs. Darryl Gibbs of New York lost his daughter to a shaken baby syndrome by her nanny. After this dreadful death he started working on getting justice for his daughter’s death. After 10,000 signatures’ from the people of New York city a law was passed called Cynthia’s Law which makes it a “felony in New York state to cause injury- regardless of intent by ‘shaking, slamming or throwing’ a child under five.”

Children are most vulnerable to the abuser because they are generally weaker than their foes, therefore making them more capable to be at the mercy of the abuser. Children can be used as “sexual toys” aiding their abuser to reach their sexual desires to the fullest extent. Sexual abuse is not always by strangers, it is most commonly family members or close friends abusing the relationship between the two of them. They tell the child that this is normal or they will reward them if the engage in sexual actions, yet at the same time threaten them in they tell anyone what they are doing. Leading the child to learn to hide things from their parents and lying about things that they do not want their parents to know.

Emotional abuse can be but is limited to saying things to the child such as “I wish you were never born”, or calling the child stupid and retarded.
Child abuse affects the child greatly. It affects their self esteem, making them feel that they are no good and no one will ever love them or care about them, because they are not worthy or it. It depends on the abuse and what the effects maybe, but not one abusive thing is worse than the other. If someone or a child is being mistreated and abused, it still affects them at the moment and for the rest of their life. The abusive words that were said when they were young reply in their minds again and again later on in life. Destroying their self worth and destroying who they could be if those words could be erased from their mind, or better yet if those words had not been said. But the victim is not that fortunate, even with extensive psychological help, they are still battered by what happened to them. A child who has become the victim of child abuse cannot look at sexual related things without the memory of what was done to them in the past; there sex life has been scared as well as their personal relationships.

Children who are victims’ of sexual abuse often get into unhealthy personal relationship later on in life. Having no self-worth makes them not feel worthy of anyone who can treat them with genuine respect and admiration. They settle for whatever gives them the first attention because they feel that this is their only opportunity at happiness with a relationship. Which in most cases just leads to more problems and possibly more unnecessary abuse that could have been avoided if they would have had more self worth and or not been sexually abused.

There is no doubt in my mind the child abuse is a horrific ting, and I condone it and those who are the offenders. I believe that every action should be taken to punish the abusers and do what is necessary to never let them have an opportunity to hurt another child. I also think that the funding for the abused children should never be cut I think that the children are America’s future, so if you do not help them especially since there is a rise in child abuse then what kind of Americans are our generation after us going to be? Without help they will not get the necessary help they need to recover, forgive and move on with their lives. I believe that every child deserves a childhood that is memorable not a devastating nightmare that haunts them every day of their life. I believe that the economy plays a huge part in the rise of child abuse because when people are stressed they do things out of anger and frustrations whether they mean to or not, and they take everything out on their child. If the economy was better and families were not losing their jobs and homes I believe that we would see a drastic cut in the number of child abuse and homelessness. If the economy were stronger there would be funding to help the children who are abused and help them find safety and counseling to recover from all that they were through. Our Country is in a downward spiral economic crash, and they funding to help the children of abuse, but the President of the United States said “A well-informed and strong family is the surest defense against child abuse. To help educate and strengthen families, community members can offer their time and counsel to parents and children who may need assistance. For example, parent support groups provide and organized forum for assistance. More informally, community members may simply offer helping hand to families under stress.” The President does have a valid point; although it does not resolve the problem I believe it is a step in the right direction. It is virtually a no expense what to help families to be strengthened in the economic times we face and to have groups from the community that you can talk to about your problems and receiver support.

Citations:
Manahan, J.,& Quade, V. (09). Child abuse on the rise, study shows. Journal of the section of individual Rights& Responsibilities.
http://searchebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=afh&AN=961110487&si...

Randall, K. (2008, December 30). US: Economic stress drives rise in child abuse and domestic violence Retrieved May 5, 2009 from
http://www.wsws.org/article/2008/abus-d30.shtml

Ever-Rising Hunger and Homelessness [editorial]. (2003). America, 188(5), 7. Retrieved May 19, 2009
http://search.ebsohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=afh&AN=9084219&site...

Egan, N. W. (2008). He fights to protect babies from abuse. People, 69, 14, 94. Retrieved June 2, 2009, from
http://search.ebsohost.com/login.aspx?direct-true=&db=afh&AN=3154909&sit....

Obama, B.H. (2009). Proclamation 8355—National Child Abuse Prevention Months, 2009. Daily Compilation of President Documents, 1-2. Retrieved June 2, 2009, from http://search.ebscohost.com/login/aspx?direct=true&db-afh&AN=38216246&si....

Connection between poverty, substance and child abuse (8008, March 4). Retrieved June 2, 2009, from www.treatmentsolutionsnetwork.com/blog/index.php/2009/03/03/274

Brendan, F. (2009, May 21)/ DCF: Fla. Child abuse is more severe in bad times Retrieved June 2, 2009, from www.frontmilltimes.com/124/v-print/story/573257.html