Child Abuse Article

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When a parent or caregiver injures, emotionally harms, or kills a child, this is known as child abuse. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, and emotional abuse are just some of the forms of child abuse that a parent or individual can engage in (Cicchetti et al. 252). When a parent or caregiver is involved in the abuse of his or her child, the abused child suffers emotionally and may become depressed. As a result, child abuse is a serious problem that can lead to children abusing drugs, fleeing their homes, or even becoming violent as a result of their experiences. Child abuse happens all over the world, but people fear to talk about it making it be kept hidden. Some people cannot report to the authority because they feel that it is not their concern and this makes the abused child continue suffering (Zellman and Robert 27). Accordingly, this paper outlines various issues surrounding child abuse, earlier strategies that have been on pace to solve the problem and presents satisfactory solutions to the problem.
Some television programs on child abuse do not speak on the real issues surrounding child abuse hence making it a clear evidence that even the media know that child abuse is real. Furthermore, what children say may give a good idea of what they are experiencing. Evidently, 40 million children who are below the age of 15 are subjected to child abuse in the world. In the United States, over 20, 000 children have been killed in their homes in the last one decade hence a need for effective interventions.
The Problem of Child Abuse and Surrounding Issues
Background Information
In the United States, medical providers have authorized reporters of child abuse. Where there is suspected child abuse, the EM provider is obliged by law to report. Nevertheless, he/she cannot be legally responsible for reporting in good faith if the suspicion is not proven, but he/she can be held legally responsible if they do not report suspected child abuse when there is reasonable suspicion of such (Vos 8). Since child abuse reporting laws differ in countries, it is the responsibility of the general practitioner to know the law in his or her country. The Emergency provider is expected to approach any suspected victim, and the first step he/she should take is administering appropriate medical care for the patient. Other steps may include a thorough history and physical examination, consulting a social worker or child abuse pediatrician and reporting the matter to the Child Protective Service Agencies.
Child abuse is a difficult diagnosis to manage in the emergency department. To manage it, the problem requires local and institutional resources such as social workers, child abuse physicians, and authorities to be consulted early in the evaluation if it is possible. Most child abuse occurs within the families where there is poverty, parents who are teenagers, parents who abuse drugs and spouses that abuse each other.
Causes
There are three causes of child abuse, and these include parental causes, ecological causes, and child problems. Parental causes involve young parents and sometimes teenagers who lack the experience of taking care of children and therefore end up neglecting a child. This occurs because young or teenage parents never learned the skills for good parenting leading them to encounter challenges when bringing up their children (Cicchetti 13). Parents who were abused when they were young by their parents are also likely to abuse their children. Some parents who never went to school may not know how to differentiate between discipline and child abuse. Ignorance may also lead to a parent or a caregiver abusing his/her child thinking that he/she is teaching him the right thing. Children who end up living with families where there is domestic violence end up becoming victims themselves because a good number of males who abuse their female partners or wives end up abusing their children.
An ecological factor is also a cause of child abuse. It involves abusing of drugs and alcohol by parents. Parents who abuse drugs are likely to be unrealistic in their behavior, which leads to abuse of children. Poverty also plays a significant role in the abuse of children since parents face problems such as financial difficulties making them not possible to provide basic needs for their children. When a parent or a caregiver faces the financial problem, and he /she does not know what to do next and may end abusing his child (Cicchetti 19). Single parents who lack social support or parents who have problems in their marriages may also involve themselves in child abuse. Abusive parents believe their children are annoying hence, cannot stop abusing them.
Besides, child problems also cause child abuse. Caring for a child with special needs is challenging and therefore needs family and community support. In a situation where a parent or caregiver lacks support from the community and the family, he/she may have problems in bringing up the child. Such children, in turn, undergo different forms of difficulties hence experience abuse from lack of adequate food and social support.
Effects of Child Abuse
Child abuse has several varying effects depending on the type of child abuse. These effects are either emotional, physical or psychological (Cicchetti et al. 252). Physical effects include signs such as wounds, burns, or fracture that occur after physical abuse. On the other hand, emotional and or psychological entail being aggressive, fear to talk to their parents, fear to go home and sometimes a child isolates himself from the public (Cicchetti et al. 252). The child may be violent in school, and he/she may fear to express his/her feelings to others. Child abuse also may make a child to be stressed and suffer from depression at a young age hence interfering with his/her physical health.
Solutions to Child Abuse
There exist various solutions to the problem. First, there is a need to strengthen economic support to families by providing employment opportunities to employ parents hence strengthening household financial security (Alvy 11). Strengthening economic support will minimize the rate of poverty hence making the parents be able to meet the needs of their children. Strengthening economic support will create family-friendly work policies hence preventing child abuse (Eckenrode et al. 1389).
The second should entail educating and creating awareness about issues surrounding child abuse and the need to take adequate care of children. People should be educated on the dangers of child abuse as well as how they affect their children. There is also need to initiate mentoring programs in communities to make the society aware of the dangers of child abuse. Educating the public will help parents and caregivers to be aware of its effects and stop abusing their children.
Furthermore, children should be made aware of their rights. When children are taught their rights, they are not likely to think that child abuse is their fault. A child who knows his or her rights in most cases may not be a victim of child abuse since he/she will report the matter to the authorities if his or her caregiver tends to abuse him/her. Besides, another solution should entail supporting child-abuse prevention programs. The government and the public have to support prevention programs put in place to safeguard children against child abuse. To stop child abuse the government has to invest heavily in programs that have been proven to stop child abuse before it occurs, this programs may include family counseling and a home visit by nurses who provide assistance for new born and their parents (Eckenrode et al. 1385).
Legislation is one of the solutions put in place earlier to solve the problem of child abuse many years ago. Although legislation has been an efficient method, it had its shortcomings hence not a useful method to resolve this problem since a good number of children have been reported dead due to child abuse. The method has been challenging since children and neighbors fear to report the matter of child abuse to the authorities. Due to fear children keep quiet about this issues and continue being mistreated by their parents due to lack of knowledge by their parents who tend to think that they are teaching them the right thing.
As such, solutions that involve high level of participations and builds on the strength of the family produces better results compared to programs that focus mainly on keeping the family unit intact without addressing the causes of the problem (Alvy 21). Teaching and training programs are, therefore, better methods compared to other solutions. Providing parents with valuable information about child development is effective since parents and caregiver are trained on how to handle children when they make mistakes and how to solve family conflicts peacefully. Besides teaching and training of parents, home visitation programs are also important. The government should initiate programs that will involve a regular visit by a health professional to the homes and families that may need support with childcare or where there is suspected child abuse. This issue can be solved since a health practitioner can involve himself in programs such as guiding and counseling of the parents and their children and training the parents on how to control their anger to minimize the rate of child abuse.
Conclusion
In conclusion, child abuse is a universal problem affecting the young population from birth to 18 years of age. There are three leading causes of child abuse, which are parental causes, ecological causes, and child problems. Based on the causes many effects can be observed in the child, which affect the child emotionally, physically, and their social development. Since the family is essential for love and care for the child, it is significant to bring their attention and highlight the causes and effects of child abuse, so they can play a major role in stopping the issue. Therefore, an appropriate consciousness of the community plays a vital role in preventing this problem from escalating.

Works cited
Alvy, Kerby T. “Preventing child abuse.” American Psychologist 30.9 (1975): 921.
Cicchetti, Dante, et al. “The differential impacts of early physical and sexual abuse and internalizing problems on daytime cortisol rhythm in school‐aged children.” Child development 81.1 (2010): 252-269.
Cicchetti, Dante. Child maltreatment: Theory and research on the causes and consequences of child abuse and neglect. Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Eckenrode, John, et al. “Preventing child abuse and neglect with a program of nurse home visitation: The limiting effects of domestic violence.” Jama 284.11 (2000): 1385-1391.
Vos, Michelle L. “Child Abuse Reporting: When Given the Option, Do Youth Choose to Report?.” (2014).
Zellman, Gail L., and Robert M. Bell. The Role of Professional Background, Case Characteristics, and Protective Agency Response in Mandated Child Abuse Reporting. Rand Corporation, 1700 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90406-2138, 1990.

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