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A Dangerous Cycle- Essay on Child Abuse

You are the teacher of a first grade class. Every day, all the children come to school happy and healthy, except one. Little Jimmy comes to class with bruises, scars, cuts, and burns. His language is also extremely profane and his excuses for his bruises aren’t believable. What is going on with him?

Sadly, this story may be true, and the culprit? Child abuse. You may not even consider child abuse as a big problem today, but it is. I personally can’t understand why an adult would abuse a child. It only lowers the child’s self esteem, makes them hate their life, and gives them an extreme fear of the parent. The idiom “Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child,” might be true, but you abuse a child. The kind of respect which is given to parents who are abusers is the “Fear” kind of respect. You get this respect when it’s forced. This is like the respect Brutus gave to Julius Caesar- backstabbing, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Do you want that kind of respect from your kid?
Child abuse is a dangerous cycle. Thirty percent of children who are abused will later abuse their own children. This cycle continues of abused children and abusing parents can continue for generations. You may think that the other seventy percent of abused children take care of their children, but more factors arise per child. Children with more siblings in the family have a higher chance of suffering. On the other hand, some of the abused children have a strong sense of duty to protect their own children from the harm they experienced, which is the best kind of parenting. Parents should try to protect their children from the many dangers they may face now or in the future.

Child abuse comes in three main forms: neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. Neglect is the most common form of child abuse, totaling up to seventy-eight percent of all reported cases. For every case of reported child abuse, two others go unreported, and since a report of child abuse is made every ten seconds, there must be tons of abused and neglected children in the world today. Usually abused children run away from home, which is sometimes a good thing, but other times, a bad thing. It is not nearly as common for an adult to “Kick a child out”. I can’t understand how some adults have the nerve to actually go beyond the line of strict into abuse. How can a child be that bad? Or are the adults not realizing that they are abusing their children? OR are the adults overreacting about how their child should behave? OR are the children overreacting about abuse and reporting their parents for every pinch or poke?

Physical abuse isn’t as common, but it is an even greater problem. Physically abused children are easy to identify. Many of them show welts, burns, and scars. Usually, they get broken bones, die by the hand of their abusers, or commit suicide. The worst part of child abuse is that they may grow up to become criminals or abuse their own children. Even at early age, physically abused children become bullies and abuse their schoolmates or anyone else who isn’t as physically strong as them.

Sexual abuse is almost equally as bad. Sexually abused children refuse to change clothes for sports or Physical education, have an exaggerated interest in sex, and are afraid to close contact (hugging or even a handshake). They may even have torn, stained, or bloodied clothing. They are also less likely of practicing safe sex, making them have a higher risk of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. (STD’s)

The numbers of abused children are growing, over three million worldwide every day. Only a few survive the experience and almost all of them grow up, have children, and abuse them, repeating the “Dangerous Cycle” for generations.

It seems hopeless to fight child abuse, but there is a way to counteract its harmful effects. Relax, calm down, and remember you are the adult, and let the child take a break. Never let an argument become full of hurt, physical or verbal. The main reason I say this is physical violence is not easily forgotten or forgiven, so if another argument erupts, it will be much easier for it to become physically violent. Never insult or physically harm a child so that s/he will become abused. If you don’t know the child, but think s/he is abused, first confront the child, ask what is happening, and if you fear the worst, contact help immediately. If you are a child and believe you are being abused, take action! Don’t be afraid. Tell a trusted adult about your situation, such as a policeman or a teacher.

Remember, a child may be calling for your help. Are you going to answer?



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