About Child Abuse

According to the Department of Children and Families, child abuse is any act by a parent or caregiver that harms or potentially harms a child. This could be by a parent, a guardian or an organization paid to watch the child. Child abuse is taken very seriously by governing authorities and children will be removed from the home if they are being threatened or harmed. Child abuse occurrences are rising with five children dying every day as a result. About 80% of these deaths are children under the age of four.

There are four main categories of child abuse, neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse. Neglect is by far the most prevalent form of abuse and is in about 78% of all child abuse cases. Examples of neglect include not providing medical attention when they are sick or not providing them with adequate food or hygiene. If this continues on for a length of time, it is labeled as chronic neglect.

At 10% of cases, physical abuse is the next most predominant form of child abuse. This is perhaps the most noticeable form as bruises and broken arms can cause suspicion in adults who notice the injuries. In infants, shaken baby syndrome can lead to death through swelling of the brain and oxygen deprivation. Signs of shaken baby syndrome include vomiting, seizures, and dilated pupils. If an adult takes out their anger on a child in punching, shoving, beating or striking, that child is at risk.

CSA, child sexual abuse, includes asking or threatening a child to engage in any type of sexual activity. Child pornography, indecent exposure and rape has serious repercussions for victims, ranging from depression to mental illnesses to physical injuries. Only 10% of abusers are strangers, and this can result in the children being afraid or embarrassed to speak to anyone about the abuse.

If you have a child suffering from child abuse, click here to find a family lawyer in your area.