Essay on Child Abuse and the Feeling of Helplessness

2185 Words 9 Pages
Smack! Mother hits me in the face, and I topple to the floor. I know better than to stand there and take the hit. I learned the hard way that she takes that as an act of defiance, which means more hits, or worst of all, no food. I regain my posture and dodge her looks, as she screams in my ear. Please, I say to myself, just let me eat this time. Hit me again, but I have to have food. Another blow pushes my head against the tile counter top (Pelzer, 1995). This is the beginning of a typical day for David Pelzer, a victim of child abuse for four years.

Child abuse is the physical, emotional, or sexual mistreatment of children. That is the typical definition coming from the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. But ask anyone who has been a
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Parents might feel embarrassed to have a child who has some kind of problem. So to alleviate their mortification, parents will take it out on their children. However, there are so many other children who experience child abuse and do not fall under the category of high-risk children.

Physical abuse is defined as inflicting physical pain on a child. Physical pain can include hitting, punching, slapping, or any other violent act that may or may not leave a mark on the body. Children who have been physically abused may experience the following psychiatric disturbances: anxiety, aggressive behavior, paranoid ideation, posttraumatic stress disorder, depressive disorders, suicidal attempts, poor self-esteem, depression, dissociative disorders, substance abuse, and violent behavior/outbursts (Kliegman, 1997). These problems are a direct result of a child feeling lonely, or even guilty, like it was his or her fault that these unfortunate incidences occurred.

Neglect results in more deaths than physical abuse. Neglect occurs when the parent’s belief system runs against the medical needs of the child such as failure to provide adequate nutrition, clothing, heat, basic shelter, and protection from environmental hazards. These hazards will lead to failure to thrive or the direct cause of injury to a child (Kaplan, 1996). The child will be unable to provide anything and will be unable to do anything about it. Children need so

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