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RECENT TRENDS IN CHILD ABUSE Theres a great concern that happens around the world, which should never take place on any account. It s a frightening act that unfortunately plagues our nation. Child abuse has occurred since the beginning of time, and unless something is done about it it will continue to increase. According to David Bender, In 1950, for every 100 children born in the United States, 12 entered broken families, either by being born out of wedlock or through their parents obtaining a divorce that year.
In 1992, for every 100 children born in the United States, 60 entered broken families (74). This statistic, which shows the growth in broken families having children, is daunting when you look at it. It s the same thing as saying that out of 10 children born in 1992 only four of them were guaranteed a home with both a mother and a father. Broken homes have contributed to child abuse greatly because the sole responsibility of the child is placed upon a single parent.
Over the past ten years child abuse has taken obvious trends that can be analyzed. Children who have been abused in their childhood have a higher tendency to abuse their children when they re adults. Child abuse is a definite problem, which should be broken up into the main causes as to why it takes place in today s society. Richard Wexler an expert on child abuse noted that, For abusing men, violence frequently is a way to regain what they see as their lost control of a relationship (25). These men don t know how to deal with their problems.
They see that things are not going as planed, and have no other means to deal with this other than to take it out on their weak and unsuspecting children. They tend to believe that this will some how fix what went wrong or what didn t go their way, but of course it doesn t. On women s perspectives David Bender states that, Contrary to public perception, research shoes that the most likely physical abuser of a young child will be that child s mother, not a male in the household, although the mother s plight often is complicated by her relationship with a cohabiting male (23). Over the past couple of years women, not men, have found to be the primary source of child abuse.
Women have a tendency to feel isolated, and have the feeling that they have to do everything, without anyone to help them. Some women think that their child is the reason for all of their headaches and strains. Then they take all of their frustration and anger out on their children. Child abuse has escalated over the past ten years, and now it might be worse than ever. Child abuse has increased so that it s occurring more and more often and the incidents are horrific. Another important aspect of child abuse is fatal child abuse, which has been another trend over the past ten years.
Not only are the children being abuse, but also they are being killed. Fatal child abuse is often resulting in neglect that the child receives. Usually this happens when children are infants, which leads to crib deaths, but it has happened to non infants as well. David bender states that, Twenty-five of 42 women, which is 60 %, reported that drugs / alcohol were used in their families and was an origin for fatal child abuse (59). Parents of children who are drug and alcohol abusers have a higher reported rate of child abuse.
Cases where parents resorted to drug and alcohol abuse were mostly because they didn t know how to deal with the problems that were going on in their lives. They turned to drugs and alcohol as an easy way to forget about their problems, even if their problem is their three-month-old child. Substance abuse cases of child abuse are almost always worse than cases non-related to drug or alcohol abuse. Because substance abuse is presently becoming more and more common, the risk of fatal child abuse is constantly growing. Many parents who have been charged with fatal child abuse had a troubled childhood themselves. When emotional needs of a child are constantly unmet, the child begins to feel that he / she has no self-worth and their self-esteem doesn t develop in a healthy way.
When these feelings are created when a child is young, they generated feelings of rage and despair that later in life will erupt into violent, and aggressive behaviors. When this has happened to children the potential of fatal child abuse highly increases for their own children. In many cases the parents of the abused had been abused in the past and when they grew up with these feelings still inside, all comes out and usually the next of kin suffers the wrath from their parents abused past. When a problem arises and the abused parent can t deal with the situation their suppressed feelings all come out at once and explode. This is when fatal child abuse is documented in families. It s a vicious cycle that continues on from generation to generation.
As child abuse continues to increase our society will continue to suffer. Over the past ten years child abuse has taken on many trends. The many factors that influence child abuse such as substance abuse, broken families, and traumatized parents need to be prevented. Child abuse doesn t discriminate it can happen in poor, middle class homes, in rural areas, suburbs, and cities. As a reoccurring issue child can involve one or both parents and happens all too often. Child abuse is a very real issue that shouldn t be taken lightly on any account.
Works Cited Bender, David L. , Child Abuse Opposing Viewpoints. California: Green haven Press, 1999 Wexler, Richard. Wounded Innocents. New York: Prometheus, 1990
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