Child Abuse is the worst thing a child can go through, not only on the flesh, but also
on the entire structure of the mind. (Coles, 1991.) Child Abuse has become a major
worldwide issue that can no longer be ignored. In this paper I will be discussing
emotional, physical and sexual abuse as well as neglect I will also be exploring
historical approaches to abuse, some of the reasons why children are abused as well as
the impact it has on a child's development. Ways to prevent abuse will also be discussed
The mistreatment of children is deeply entrenched in history. Violence is a reflection
of patriarchal tradition (Mandell, 2001) The mistreatment of children through violent
means is not a new problem that society has had to face. (Mandell, 2001) ...Research
tends to confirm the feminist position that...violence has been systemically employed
[to] maintain the cultural subordination [of women].
However, there is a difference
between the abuse of today and the abuse of yesterday. Today, cruelty to children is
recognized as abuse whereas, in the past, it was not. The abuse of children was quite
common in the past. To hit a child was completely acceptable and was considered to be
the norm. It was viewed as discipline. Even if a child was beaten to near death, it was
still considered discipline by society's standards. It did not help that the child was viewed
as the property of their father. This made it easier for violence as well as abuse to be
overlooked by society.
In past centuries, children were sacrificed, sold into slavery, or even, into prostitution
in order to pay for family debts. Mistreatment was not criticized and thus, not stopped.
Many children worked in factories as laborers and were mistreated...