Child abuse

Essay by phoenix!VCollege, UndergraduateA-, April 2003

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Child Abuse

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

and examined.

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...