The term child abuse covers a spectrum of physical, sexual, verbal or psychological abuse. No matter the form of abuse, the emotional impact is equally serious. However, there is hope. If you suspect your child is suffering from abuse or excessive neglect, it is essential to speak up. To begin, it is important to separate the misconceptions from the realities about child abuse and negligence:
Firstly, child abuse and child neglect differ from one another in terms of what is actually happening to the child. While abuse may physically harm the child, such as hitting or slapping, neglect may be mental torture. For instance, if a parent allows his or her child to drink alcohol or drugs, the child will be psychologically affected by it. On the other hand, drug abuse may also be harmful physically but the harm will not be felt psychologically. A parent who allows drug abuse in the home will likely do so because it benefits the child, rather than physically hurting him or her.
Child abuse and neglect are also different in terms of their social definition. While everyone knows what to look for, not everyone is familiar with the symptoms of child abuse and neglect. Many social services and child protection services do not closely monitor indicators of maltreatment or neglect. As a result, there are often no signs of mistreatment or maltreatment present in a child’s home. However, once such signs are present, parents must seek help from professionals as quickly as possible.
Signs of child abuse or neglect include tantrums, yelling, banging, constant anger, not being provided a sense of safety and having their basic needs met at a minimum. Children left alone in a violent home are more likely to grow up with behavioral issues as well as emotional disorders. The most common developmental disorder associated with neglectful or abusive parenting skills is attention deficit disorder. If your child has attention deficit disorder, leaving them home alone without a caregiver can lead to severe and significant emotional disorders.
The United States Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs classifies child abuse or neglect into two main types. The first, physical abuse, involves physical harm that takes place during a time when the child was physically present in the household. The second, sexual abuse involves sexual contact that does not allow the victim’s parents to control the situation. There are many other types of child maltreatment and abuse, but the two main definitions stick most people to reality.
These definitions have been used as guidelines in preventing violence against children. Unfortunately, not every state has laws that adhere to these definitions. Many times, the definitions of child abuse vary from one state to the next. This can make it difficult to distinguish between what would be considered physical abuse and what would not be. In order to prevent this problem, each state should have a department that creates child abuse prevention plans.
When negligence is suspected, parents must take action immediately. Even if the suspected perpetrator can’t be found, the harm done to a child can’t go unpunished. The damage caused by child abuse can last for a lifetime and can affect the lives of the victim’s peers and family members as well. It can even prevent a child from experiencing success in life. As such, neglect is a form of child abuse that can’t be ignored or overlooked.
Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to find out if a parent has committed any type of child abuse or neglect. A parent may explain away the act and say that it wasn’t intentional. However, if an investigation confirms the suspicions, then the perpetrator will face serious charges. Because sexual abuse often involves the use of force, any adult who commits it faces jail time in addition to financial penalties.