by cesarandy1 on September 18, 2014 - 2:15pm
September 15, 2014
Ethics Short Paper 1
Child abuse has always been a very sensitive topic due to the nature of its unclear definition and confusions as to when it could be used against a parent or foe. As a matter of fact, it was until 1976 that the first Federal child protection legislation called Child Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was created due to increased awareness on child abuse. Over the years, several laws have been amended to CAPTA as more cases of child abuse become public. However, one of the main reason why it took so long for awareness to be raised to the extent at which it is today is because a lot of parents or relatives of the child do not have a clear understanding of when their action is considered abuse or when it is considered scolding the child. Many of these parents may argue that they were raised a different way, where what today could be considered abuse was the norm when they were growing up, and many of them feel that having been raised that way is what made the difference in their behavior today. The definition of child abuse has changes over the past decades and today children are being taught and encouraged to let official know when they’re abused at home.
So what exactly is child abuse? Base on the U. S. Department of health and human services child abuse and neglect is defined as "Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation" or "An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.". Again, this is when the situation becomes delicate and at times confusing because the definition of child abuse can become very broad because it can be generally assumed that a parent will not want to “risk serious harm” to their child when they feel they are needed to be scolded. Now, I think all of us can remember a time when dad or mom scolded us because of our misbehavior, but from a personal experience I know my parents never meant to hurt us, as a matter of fact my mom always told me she hated to punish us so to stop causing trouble. However, there are different situation where some children who misunderstand the severity of accusing the parents of child abuse will use the child abuse card as a way to scare the parent and get away from punishment. Many parents today question themselves as to what is the right approach to punish their children? When are they doing well to their child and when are they causing harm?
One of the bigger reasons as to why there has been a rise in awareness of child abuse is because of the reported effects that it can have on a child’s future and how many kids have dies because of child abuse. One of the more worrisome statistics that was found was that children who experienced child abuse or neglect during their childhood are 9 times more likely to become involved in criminal activity. In at least one study, about 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least on psychological disorder. And approximately 70% of children that die of child abuse are under the age of 4. Child abuse should not be tolerated seeing as it happens at many parts of the world at any education level because of the consequences it has on the growth of a child. Child abuse unfortunately is also a vicious cycle, because statistically about 30% of abused and neglected children will abuse their own children, which doesn’t help the cause. I believe that we can decrease child abuse by having a clear understanding by parents and children alike as to what can cause harm and what is healthy towards a child’s formation as they grow into their teenage years. No child wants to grow up realizing they were or are the victim of abuse and that they are the way they are today because of it. And I’m sure most parents never want to hurt their child if they know it will affect them in the future, because for the most part, parents always want to see their children succeed in every part of their lives.