Any type of Child Abuse, carried out for a long period of time, may cause long-term mental damage. In this paper I intend to explain child abuse in intimate detail. I hope to inform you of the exact definition of abuse and its various types. I hope to enlighten you on pertinent facts and information on the causes and effects of this cruel act. I will also show you statistical information showing that continued abuse against a child may cause long-term mental damage. I will also show improvements being made over the years to improve and prevent child abuse.

Child Abuse is defined as intentional use of physical force or intentional omission of care by a parent or caregiver that causes a child to be hurt, maimed, or killed. Child abuse covers a wide range of harmful actions, which generally vary with the age of the child. The term child abuse covers a wide range of behavior, from actual physical assault to simple neglect of a child's basic needs. Child abuse is also sometimes called child maltreatment. Infants and preschool children are most likely to suffer deliberately inflicted fractures, burns, and bruises. This is known as the battered-child syndrome.

Although the extent of child abuse is difficult to measure, it is recognized a s a major social problem, especially in industrialized nations. It occurs in all income, racial, religious, and ethnic groups and in urban and rural communities. It is, however, more common in some groups, especially those below the poverty line. There are several different types of child abuse, and some children experience more than one form: Physical abuse includes deliberate acts of violence that injure or even kill a child. Unexplained bruises, broken bones, or burn marks on a child may be signs of physical abuse.

Other signs include: Physical Indicators. Unexplained bruises or welts. Unexplained burns. Unexplained fractures and sprains.

Unexplained head injuries. Unexplained lacerations or abrasions. Poisoning, inappropriate drugs, food or drink. Confinement Behavioral Indicators. School absence correlates with appearance of injury. Behavioral extremes, i.

e. overly compliant, passive or undemanding, aggressive, withdrawn. Easily frightened, fearful. Wary of physical contact or touch. Poor social relations. Afraid to go home.

Destructive to self and / or others. Chronic runaway. Complains of soreness or moves uncomfortably. Wears clothing inappropriate to weather to cover body Sexual abuse occurs when adults use children for sexual gratification or expose them to sexual activities. Sexual abuse may begin with kissing or fondling and progress to more intrusive sexual acts, such as oral sex and vaginal or anal penetration. Common signs of sexual abuse are: Physical Indicators.

Difficulty walking or sitting. Torn clothing, . Stained or bloody underwear. Pain or itching in genital area.

Venereal disease, especially in preteens. Pregnancy Behavioral Indicators. Sudden reluctance to go someplace or be with someone. Inappropriate displays of affection. Sexual acting out.

Sudden use of sexual terms or new names for body parts. Uncomfortableness or rejection of typical family affection. Sleep problems, including: insomnia, nightmares, refusal to sleep alone or suddenly insisting on a night light. Regressive behaviors, including: thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, infantile behaviors or other signs of dependency. Extreme or other signs of fearfulness. A sudden change in personality.

Problems in school. Unwilling to participate in or change clothing for gym class at school. Runs away from home. Bizarre or unusual sophistication pertaining to sexual behavior or knowledge, including sexual acting out. Reports sexual assault by parent or guardian Not all child abuse is physical.

Emotional abuse is one of the most common and harmful forms of child abuse. Making fun of a child, name-calling, always finding fault, and showing no respect can damage a child's self-esteem. The Child. May find it hard to make friends. May avoid doing things with other children and being places where he's expected to love. May tend to be pushy and hostile.

Might have a hard time learning, be overly active, or have problems such as bed-wetting or soiling. Might act falsely grown up, having to care for adults or others far beyond what should be expected for the child's age. May become gloomy and depressed, unable to enjoy himself. He might do things that work against himself. Could become self-destructive, injuring herself, or even attempting suicide Other types of emotional abuse are confinement, such as shutting a child in a dark closet, and social isolation, such as denying a child friends. The most common form of child abuse is Physical neglect.

Physical neglect involves a parent's failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care to a child. It may also include inadequate supervision and a consistent failure to protect a child from hazards or danger. Some indicators for physical neglect are: Physical Indicators. Consistent hunger, poor hygiene, inappropriate dress. Consistent lack of supervision, especially in dangerous activities or long periods.

Constant fatigue or listlessness. Unattended physical problems or medical needs Abandonment Behavioral Indicators. Begging, stealing food. Extended stays at school (early arrival and late departure). Constantly falling asleep in class. Alcohol or drug abuse.

Delinquency, thefts. States there is no caregiver Emotional neglect occurs when a parent or caretaker fails to meet a child's basic need for affection and comfort. Examples of emotional neglect include behaving in a cold, distant, and un affectionate way toward a child, allowing a child to witness chronic or severe spousal abuse, allowing a child to use alcohol or drugs, and encouraging a child to engage in delinquent behavior. Another form of neglect involves failing to meet a child's basic education needs, either by failing to enroll a child in school or by permitting a child to skip school frequently. Physical Indicators. Habit disorders (sucking, biting, rocking, etc.

). Conduct disorders (antisocial, destructive, etc. ). Neurotic traits (sleep disorders, speech disorders, inhibition of play). Psychoneurotic reactions (hysteria, obsession, compulsion, phobias, hypochondria) Behavioral Indicators. Poor self image.

Overly shy and / or needy. Feels as if their punishments aren't harsh enough. Afraid to go home. If confronted, gives wild stories which change each time asked. Behavior extremes (compliant and passive, aggressive and demanding). Overly adoptive behavior (inappropriately adult, inappropriately infant).

Developmental lags (physical, mental, emotional). Attempted suicide According to the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, in 1995 about 2. 9 million children in the U. S. were reported as abused or neglected to government agencies that investigate child abuse.

Investigators substantiated abuse or neglect for more than 1 million of the children reported. Among substantiated cases, 52 % involved physical or emotional neglect, 24. 5% involved physical abuse, 12. 6% involved sexual abuse, 4.

5% involved emotional abuse, and 17. 3% involved other abuse, such as educational neglect or abandonment. Some children experienced multiple forms of abuse. Many researchers believe that statistics based on official reports do not accurately reflect the frequency of child abuse. Definitions of maltreatment vary from state to state and among agencies, making such statistics unreliable. Professionals who interact with children; such as teachers, day-care workers, pediatricians, and police officers, may fail to recognize or report abuse.

In addition, acts of abuse usually occur in the privacy of a family's home and often go unreported. Surveys of families, another way of estimating abuse indicate that 2. 3% of children in the US, or about 1. 5 million children, experience abusive violence each year. The U. S.

Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect estimates that parents or caretakers kill 2000 children under the age of 18 each year. Annually, more children under the age of four die from abuse and neglect than from falls, choking on food, drowning, fires, or motor vehicle accidents. More than 18, 000 children suffer permanent disabilities from abuse or neglect annually. The public often assumes that people who abuse their children suffer from some type of mental condition, but fewer than 10 percent of abusers have a mental illness. Most abusers love their children but tend to have less patience and less mature personalities than other parents. These traits make it difficult to cope with the demands of their children and increase the likelihood of physical or emotional abuse.

However, there is no single explanation for child maltreatment. Child abuse results from a complex combination of personal, social, and cultural factors. These may be grouped onto four primary categories: (1) inter generational transmission of violence, (2) social stress, (3) social isolation and low community involvement, and (4) family structure. Many children learn violent behavior from their parents and then grow up to abuse their own children. Thus, the abusive behavior is transmitted across generations. Studies show that some 30% of abused children become abusive parents, whereas only 2 to 3% of all individuals become abusive parents.

Children who experience abuse an.