The Effects of Child Abuse Essay

1692 Words 7 Pages
The effects of child abuse are multiple. The pain and trauma the abused child goes through is just a small part of how this cauldron of hidden depravity in our society affects all of us. Wrecked lives can be seen in persons of all ages and in all walks of life. Society as a whole is also effected by child abuse both in negative and positive ways. In this essay I will present some of the factor and results of this violent behavior on individuals as well as our culture.
Early American culture did not consider child abuse a crime. Children over the age of 7 were made to work as hard as adults of the time period. They were often beaten if they did not. This changed in the late 19th century when 9 year old Mary Ellen, who endured physical
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Mary Ellen’s foster mother was found guilty and sentenced to one year of hard labor. “Most experts consider this horrifying case to have been the catalyst for legislation that prosecuted and convicted parents and guardians who subjected children to neglect, violence, and abuse” (p. 4).
Today the laws defining child abuse are quite strong. According to the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), Physical abuse is generally defined as “any non-accidental physical injury to the child” and can include striking, kicking, burning, or biting the child, or any action that results in a physical impairment of the child.
The state of Oregon further defines physical abuse as:
An assault on a child and physical injury to a child that has been caused by other than accidental means, including injury that appears to be at variance with the explanation given of the injury.
Threatened harm to a child that means subjecting a child to a substantial risk of harm to the child’s health or welfare.
Permitting a person under age 18 to enter or remain in or upon premises where methamphetamine is being manufactured.
Unlawful exposure to a controlled substance that subjects a child to a substantial risk of harm, to his or her health or safety ( Feb 6, 2011, retrieved from http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/lps124431/defineall.pdf).
Unfortunately, the abuse of children has been recently labeled a sign of illness, such as psychopathology, which can

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