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Example research essay topic: Child Abuse And Neglect Sexually Abused - 796 words

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Child Abuse Child abuse, or child maltreatment, is the sexual, emotional, or physical maltreatment of children. In the United States the exact percentage of child abuse and neglect is unknown, but it is recognized as a major social problem. Recognizing child abuse is often quite difficult. However, there are a few definite symptoms of abuse that can be recognized. Sexual abuse consists of a wide range of sexual behavior, including fondling, masturbation, and intercourse. Sexual abuse can also involve child pornography.

The sexual abuse should be recognized, stopped, and the child should receive professional help. The long-term emotional and mental damage can be harmful to the child. Sexual abuse can take place within the family, by a parent, step-parent, sibling, or other relative. It could also take place outside the home.

A child who has been sexually abused over an extended amount of time, usually develops low self-esteem, a feeling of worthlessness, and an unusual attitude on sexuality. The child may become suicidal and mistrust adults. Some sexually abused children become child abusers or prostitutes, or have other serious problems when they reach adulthood. Often there are no physical signs of sexual abuse. The only physical signs of physical abuse, are seen by a doctor through tests. The behavior of sexually abused children may include nightmares, depression, seductiveness, refusal to go to school, suicidal behavior, and aggressiveness.

Sexual abusers of children can often make the child extremely fearful of telling of the abuse. Only when something or someone has helped the child towel safe, will the child tell of the abuse. Sexual abuse of children has been reported up to 80, 000 times a year, but the number of unreported cases is far greater, because the children are afraid to tell anyone what has happened. Some preventive actions that parents can take to keep their children safe from sexual abuse are to tell the child to say No to people who are touching the child s body in offensive ways and to encourage trained prevention programs the local schools. Emotional abuse is a pattern of behavior that attacks a child s emotional development and sense of importance. Emotional abuse includes aggressive or unreasonable demands that take place on a child beyond his other capability.

A few forms of verbal attack are, constant criticizing, insulting, or rejecting. Emotional abuse also includes the failure to provid the emotional care necessary for a child s mental growth and development. This includes giving no love, support, or guidance needed to grow. A child who is emotionally abused may suck their thumb, be destructive to others, suffer from speech disorders, or demonstrate phobias. Signs an emotional abuser would show would be to blame or put down the child, reject the child, or withhold affection. A pattern of these behaviors is the strongest indicators abuse and should not be ignored.

Physical abuse refers to a situation in which the child suffers serious harm from an injury given by the child s parent or care-giver. The injury maybe given intentionally or may be the result of a physically aggressive punishment for a child. Physical abuse may lead to bruises, cuts, welts, burns, fractures, internal injuries, or poisoning. In extreme cases physical abuse may lead to death. Between the years 1992 - 1993, a total of 19, 344 notices of possible child abuse or neglect were received by Protective Services. Examples of behavior by a parent or care-giver that is physical abuse are hitting, biting, shaking, burning, drowning, administering poison, and suffocating.

Twenty-six percent of abused children are physically abused. Forty-three states reported 1, 111 children dies as a result of abuse in 1994. In the United States, public concern for the rapid growth of child abuse has led to the order of state and federal legislature. Since 1980, 45 states have established resources for child abuse prevention centers. In 1974, the government established the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect within the Department of Health and Human Services.

The NCCAN funds shows and research projects across the nation to treat and prevent child abuse. In addition, all but on state have established children s trust and prevention funds. These funds are designed to support the development of aside range of programs to prevent all forms of abuse. Progress has been made in identifying effective preventive strategies against abuse. Effective prevention requires an essential change in national values and public preferences.

The change is in order to correct the conditions of poverty, unemployment, and health problems that are found in the lives of abusive families. Child abuse is a problem best answered through law-enforcement, mental-health, and social services. Many abused children will suffer short oblong term effects. Child abuse is a major social problem that is hard to recognize, but should be stopped.


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