Confronting Child Abuse

By Markell Jackson
July 5, 2013
Commentary

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An Insight by Rega Photography, CC-BY-2.0.

LOS ANGELES, Ca. – Everyone is born into a family. There are families that are caring toward one another and there are some that are not. It is often up to the parents to teach their children what’s right and wrong. Some parents, however, can’t tell the difference between right and wrong themselves when it comes to how they treat their children, and this can lead to the serious problem of child abuse.

Some people called it getting “whooped” or “beaten”, but there’s a slight difference between these two; “whooping” is like disciplining your child for not doing the right thing, and “beating” is a more brutal way of disciplining a child. Kids all over the world are abused, which can cause those children to distrust and fear their parents or whomever is hurting them.

Beating or whooping a child isn’t the only type of child abuse. There are many different kinds of child abuse. Generally speaking, the different types of child abuse are: physical, emotional and sexual. Physical abuse includes hitting or any physical action that can hurt a human body; emotional abuse is verbally disrespecting a child, or a parent telling their child they don’t love them and wish they never had them in their life or neglecting them; and sexual abuse can involve rape or touching children’s personal body parts such as their genitals, breasts, or butt cheeks. These types of child abuse are very serious and can cause the child serious harm, fear or death.

According to a 2010 study by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the rate of child abuse has grown since 1998.  In the U.S., a child is abused every 10 seconds. From 1998 – 2010 the numbers of abused children rose from three children being abused and dying per day, to five or more children being abused and dying. In 2008, 1,730 children died from child abuse in the U.S. The Department of Health and Human Services reported that for each year between 2000 and 2005, “female parents acting alone” were most likely to be perpetrators of child abuse.

In the U.S., neglect is defined as the failure to meet basic needs of children including housing, clothing, food and access to medical care. If you have a child and your child doesn’t have clothes to wear, people are going to ask why. If you have food in your house and only think about yourself and not your child, people are going to ask why your child looks like he/she hasn’t eaten anything in days. Most importantly, if your child is hurt badly and you’re not trying to take your child to the hospital, this can lead to serious consequences for both parent and child.

The U.S. is not the only country where child abuse happens — there are other countries that have child abuse cases as well. These days, children are getting technologically savvier. Some children are now using cameras to record their parents beating them or trying to rape or kill them. The Internet is one of the main outlets where you can find video footage of children being abused.

In my opinion, no child should be mistreated just because their parents aren’t happy with him or her, or because of other problems that happened in their own childhoods and expect their children to suffer the same. I believe every human being should be given equal rights and treated with respect, regardless of age or family history.

 

Editor’s note: This story is one of seven pieces written by students from Santee Education Complex as part of a joint project between the high school and the Daniel Pearl Foundation.