PSYCHOLOGY

Warning! Child Abuse Occurs More Often Than You Might Expect

Date October 22, 2018 16:26

There’s possibly nothing more horrible than child abuse. Human-beings are designed to protect their children, it’s in our blood. Therefore, hurting any child, especially if such action is intentional, is simply unnatural. You need to know, however, that child abuse is not only hitting or verbally abusing children. Neglect is one of the most common types of child abuse nowadays, and it’s on us, parents, to make their future as bright us possible. But in order to do that, we need to acknowledge the problem. That’s where the statistics come in.

Warning! Child Abuse Occurs More Often Than You Might ExpectWarning! Child Abuse Occurs More Often Than You Might ExpectWarning! Child Abuse Occurs More Often Than You Might Expectanekoho / Shutterstock.com

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What is child abuse?

You can find lots of definitions of child abuse online. But according to the United States Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, child abuse is an act that presents an imminent risk of death, serious emotional or physical harm. This implies that the failure to act which results in the potential serious harm is also considered as child abuse.

Interestingly enough, the World Health Organization also includes acts that pose a threat to a child’s development and dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust, and power. This, in turn, means that according to the WHO, nearly every parent abuses their child one way or another, as there are no ideal parents. But we will talk about later.

Warning! Child Abuse Occurs More Often Than You Might ExpectWarning! Child Abuse Occurs More Often Than You Might ExpectWarning! Child Abuse Occurs More Often Than You Might ExpectSinisha Karich / Shutterstock.com

Child abuse statistics: hurtful and shocking

People rarely want to talk about it. But we have to. One that fully accepts their responsibilities as a parent knows that this issue is one of the most important in the world. The numbers don’t lie: the child abuse problem is indeed extremely disturbing. Child abuse statistics in the US show the horrible picture:

  1. Every day, nearly 5 children die because of child abuse and neglect. More than 70% of them are 2 years of age and younger. Boys are at higher risk of death due to maltreatment than girls.
  2. 1 in 10 children by the time they become adults will suffer some form of sexual abuse. Adding to that, 90% of these cases will be committed by those who the children know, love, and trust. It was estimated that girls are just as likely to be sexually abused in childhood as they are to develop breast cancer in adulthood.  Children between 7 and 13 years of age are the most vulnerable to sexual abuse.
  3. Child abuse leads to dire consequences. 80% of young people who had been experiencing child abuse met the criteria for at least one mental disorder. Approximately 30% of abused children are expected to later abuse their own children. 25% of abused children are expected to experience teen pregnancy, have unsafe sex, and get STDs.
  4. Child abuse happens across all ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural groups. It means that child abuse is indeed a worldwide issue that concerns everyone.
  5. Different studies suggest that the most common type of child abuse is physical (28.3%). Sexual abuse (20.7%) is the second most common type. 14.8% of abused children experienced emotional neglect.

We can only imagine how many cases of child abuse remain unreported. The numbers presented above describe only a small part of the problem. It is just a small puzzle to the whole picture.

Warning! Child Abuse Occurs More Often Than You Might ExpectWarning! Child Abuse Occurs More Often Than You Might ExpectPhotographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

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Child abuse facts: scary and merciless

Fact №1. Physical child abuse fact: physical abuse is just one form of many. Emotional and sexual abuse, as well as child neglect,  can be even more damaging. Such types of child abuse typically last longer, as they are not as obvious, which means others are less likely to interfere.

Fact №2. It is not necessarily bad people who abuse children. Unfortunately, child neglect can occur even in loving families without any malignant intentions.

Fact №3. Most child abusers are family members, relatives, and acquaintances. Cases of child abuse by strangers happen significantly rarer.

Fact №4. Abused children are more likely to become abusers themselves, but it is not always true. In fact, only around 30% of abused children create the vicious circle.

Warning! Child Abuse Occurs More Often Than You Might ExpectWarning! Child Abuse Occurs More Often Than You Might ExpectIlya Andriyanov / Shutterstock.com

You don’t have to be an expert to understand how devastating can be the effects of child abuse. Despite huge efforts being made by hundreds of organizations and services, the problem is yet so far from being solved. But you know what? You can help! Raise awareness about this global issue. Moreover, you can report any suspected case of child abuse. Don’t close your eyes to it!

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