Child Abuse: An Overview


We are living in the age of anxiety. Recent studies find that anxiety has increased so much that typical school children during the 1980’s reported more anxiety than child psychiatric patients did during the 1950’s.28 No one cause for the increase can be proven, but it is likely that one of the reasons is the downward spiral of child abuse.

The situation is a bad, but there is hope. Not so long ago children were considered property. Abuse may be on the rise, but awareness is increasing. People can recover from childhood abuse, and many people are working to prevent abuse. Get involved. Donate your time or money to an organization working in your community.

Here are just a few more bits of information to prod you on your way:

“Two out of every three prisoners convicted of first degree murder report previous childhood histories of physical abuse.”10

“During 1994 U.S. hospital emergency department (ED) personnel treated an estimated 1.4 million people for injuries from confirmed or suspected interpersonal violence. Of the total, 1.3 million were treated for injuries from confirmed violence, while 82,000 sought care for injuries that had probably been — or were suspected of having been – sustained from acts of violence.”26

“CPS investigated only 28 percent of the recognized children who met the Harm Standard. This was a significant decrease from the 44 percent investigated in 1986. Although the percentage of children whose abuse or neglect was investigated declined, the actual number of children investigated remained constant. CPS investigated less than one-half of all Harm Standard children recognized by any source and less than one-half of all Endangerment Standard children recognized by any source except police and sheriffs’ departments (52%). CPS investigated only 26 percent of the seriously injured and 26 percent of the moderately injured children.”27

Child Abuse Introduction   |   Signs of Child Abuse
Child Abuse Statistics   |   It’s Under Reported
Effects of Child Abuse on Children: Abuse General
Effects of Child Abuse on Children: Child Sexual Abuse
Injuries to Children: Physical and Sexual Abuse
Effects of Child Abuse on Adults: Childhood Abuse
Effects of Child Abuse on Adults: Childhood Sexual Abuse
Definition of Physical Abuse   |   Signs of Physical Abuse
Definition of Sexual Abuse   |   Signs of Sexual Abuse
Definition of Child Neglect   |   Signs of Child Neglect
Definition of Emotional Abuse   |   Signs of Emotional Abuse
Abusers   |   Pedophiles
Child Physical Abuse and Corporal Punishment
Treatment for Child Abuse
Costs to Society
State Child Abuse Laws
Nationwide Crisis Line and Hotline Directory

Referring to this article:
“Child Abuse: An Overview” was written by C. J. Newton, MA, Learning Specialist and published in the Find (formerly Mental Health Journal in April, 2001.

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