One major issue that is apparent in today’s society is child abuse. Child abuse is a globally related issue as this issue can be witnessed in families across the world. Child abuse has always been present in society, but only recently have scientists began to discover the disastrous effects that child abuse has on children. Child abuse occurs when a parent or guardian, whether through action or failure to act, causes injury either through emotional or physical harm. With hundreds of thousands of children traumatized by either physical, emotional, or sexual abuse last year, child abuse is constantly increasing and becoming more common than ever. Child abuse is considered to be the worst kind of abuse as it is usually the least reported, mainly because it is present in the family.
In order to prevent child abuse, society must first understand the common causes of abuse, recognize the types of abuse, and realize the effect abuse has, not only on just the children but also the families. Regardless of the type of abuse, if not stopped and the social and psychological issues are not dealt with as quickly as possible it may result in this vicious cycle of abuse where the abused goes out on their own and then becomes the abuser. Child abuse covers a wide range of behavior, from actual physical assault to simple neglect of a child’s basic needs. This issue is apparent in many families for multiple different reasons.
While child abuse can intentional, there can also be a possibility for miscommunication between a parent and a child. The major reason why child abuse is present in families is the parents are not ready to raise a child. When are parent is not ready to raise a child they are either unfit mentally or physically. When a parent is unfit mentally they have a tendency to get upset and unleash anger upon their child. In A Brother’s Journey, Catherine is a mother of four who is not mentally stable, after her divorce with her husband Stephen, she started to abuse various substances such as alcohol and cigarettes. This substance abuse causes her to start neglecting and harming her children.
While under the influence of these drugs she is not aware of the pain she is instilling onto her child “kick after kick, the chest and the arms, the face and the neck, she just wouldn’t stop… I could barely move. My chest felt as if it was crushed (Pelzer 91)”. A normal parent would not be able to bare their child in pain, they would do anything in their power in order to relieve their child. Although, while a person is under the influence of drug they cannot comprehend what they are doing.
It is estimated that 9 percent of children in The United State of America live with at least one parent who abuses alcohol or other drugs (Office of Applied Studies, 2003). Research has demonstrated that children of substance abusing parents are more likely to experience abuse whether it is either physical, sexual, emotional, or neglect than children in non-substance abusing households. Another less common reason for child abuse is a parent does not always know what is best for their child. A parent with a very young child may not be able to understand what their child requires.
This miscommunication between the parent and child could be classified as child abuse as the parent is not able to tend to their child’s needs.