abUSE

By , Roslyn, NY
Every ten seconds a child in America is being abused. Five of these abused children will die per day with more than 75% being under the age of four. 90% of child abuse occurs by a person the child knows and 68% of child abuse occurs by a person in the child’s immediate family. The American public has generally turned a blind eye on abuse and the effects of it, even when it is happening right down the street.

Melinda Smith, a professor at Yale stated, in an interview with Helpguide.org, “It’s only abuse if it’s violent.” Her statement reflects the views of many Americans who are in denial of the massive amount of child abuse going on in our country. Each generation the public is finding out more and more about child abuse. This may be because more children are sharing about their abuse, but it is also because more of the effects are becoming known.

Abuse is much more than just violence. Violence is the most accepted type of abuse because it is the only form of abuse that can be seen with the eye. Children that experience any abuse will have their whole lives altered. These abused children feel like they did something to deserve their abuse. This feeling causes them to lead a life looking for some attention, for someone to show that they care about them. Children who are not treated begin to live a life of depression and have a much larger risk of committing suicide than the average child.

Looking for attention leads many child abuse survivors to more abuse and to a criminal history. According to Childhelp.org, “Two- thirds of people being treated for drug abuse reported being abused as a child. Abused children are 2.5 times more likely to abuse alcohol, and 3.8 times more likely to abuse drugs. Abused children are three times less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at risk for STDs and pregnancy. 25% of abused children are likely to experience teen pregnancy. 80% of twenty one year olds this year, who were abused as children have been diagnosed with having at least one physiological disorder. 59% of abused children are likely to commit a juvenile crime. 28% of abused children will be arrested as an adult. 30% of abused children will commit a crime as an adult.”

These statistics are shocking and scary at the same time. It is terrible to think that these children are not being given the same opportunities to live a successful life as the average child. Turning a blind eye on the statistics is not going to help anyone, especially the children at risk. America is known throughout the world for opportunities it gives to people of all races and backgrounds. Children in America are not receiving the help they need for the effects of child abuse, and the public continues to mainly ignore the issue.

Over 25% of children in America are abused or will be abused. Many of these children will not share that they are or have been abused and will continue to feel the effects of the abuse. It is up to schools to offer a safe place for children to be able to share about their abuse. If schools do not begin to offer students a safe place authorities will not be able to learn the extent of the abuse going on. The longer authorities do not know about the abuse the less help will be available.

Schools currently look for bruises, sudden grade shifts, and timing of activities to see if children are being abused. Most times these methods do not catch any abuse with children. What schools really need to do is make it mandated that every student meet with the in school therapist for 10-15 minutes every month just to check up on what is going on. These checkups would allow for students to develop a relationship with the therapist and hopefully give them enough trust to share what is going on in their lives.

Students need to feel safe and comfortable to share the abuse they are enduring. The first part of the healing process for them is to share what has happened. Once people are aware of their abuse the side effects can begin to be prevented. It is up to schools to begin the journey to allow all children the chance at a healthy and happy life.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

123456 said...
Mar. 29, 2011 at 7:31 pm
being an abused child i realize how emotional it must be for these children.
 
kara201 said...
Mar. 29, 2011 at 7:30 pm
this article is very well written and really gives a lot of insight on abuse... it is sad to hear.
 
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