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Child Abuse

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Child abuse facts

  • Child abuse is when a caregiver purposefully harms a child.
  • About 40 million children worldwide suffer abuse every year, with more than 1,500 children dying of abuse in the United States annually.
  • Survivors of child maltreatment are at greater risk for physical, emotional, work, and relationship problems throughout childhood and into adulthood.
  • Common forms of child abuse include neglect, physical assault, emotional abuse, and sexual assault.
  • Child abuse risk factors include issues that involve the victim, family, perpetrator, and community.
  • Victims of child abuse often experience stress in reaction to the abuse as well as symptoms related to the kind of abuse they endured.
  • Child abuse symptoms and signs vary according to the child's developmental stage and age.
  • The treatment for child abuse involves first securing the safety of the child from further abuse and addressing any physical injuries from which the child may be suffering. The emotional needs of the child are then assessed and addressed.
  • There are many ways to prevent child abuse; every state in the U.S. has child-abuse-reporting hotlines.

What is child abuse?

Child abuse is any injury that is intentionally inflicted on a child by a caregiver. While the caregiver is usually an adult, most often the mother of the child, it can also include teenagers who are in the caregiving role, like a babysitter or a camp counselor. It is important to understand that child abuse must involve injury, whether physical or emotional, visible or not immediately visible. So while most child-care professionals (for example, psychiatrists, psychologists, pediatricians, and teachers) do not recommend the use of corporal punishment due to the risk of emotional damage and accidental physical injury, spanking a child does not automatically constitute child abuse unless the child sustains some kind of injury.

About 40 million children worldwide suffer abuse every year, affecting all educational and socioeconomic levels, ethnicities, cultures, and religions. Many other important statistics regarding this public-health problem in the United States include that its cost to society is more than $120 billion per year and that with more than 3 million referrals to state and local agencies every year, an average of six such referrals occur every minute. More than 1,500 children die each year as a result of child abuse.

The most common form of child abuse in the United States is being left at home alone without adult supervision, also called supervision neglect. All forms of neglect account for about 75% of all the child abuse reports made to child welfare authorities. Other common forms of child abuse include physical assault, physical neglect, emotional abuse, and sexual assault that involves physical contact.

Child abuse has far-reaching negative effects on its victims and on society. Survivors of child maltreatment are at greater risk for physical, emotional, work, and relationship problems throughout childhood and into adulthood.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/26/2014

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Child Abuse - Prevention Question: What steps have you taken to stop or prevent child abuse?
Child Abuse - Experience Question: Were you or someone you know a victim of child abuse? Please share your story.
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/child_abuse_facts/article.htm

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