It is time that a stand is taken and the children are safe from all harm.
Even though adult abusers see nothing wrong with what they do, there are negative effects abuse has on the adolescent because the abuse causes adolescents to develop physical and emotional problems and the abused is likely to end up being the abuser.
Definition of Abuse Federal Law and State Law
“I was only disciplining my child,” is what one is more and likely to hear if one asks the abuser why they harmed an adolescent. The definition given by the Federal law for abuse is any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2008). Each state is to set their own definition of abuse, these can be found in each of the states statutory code in three places; mandatory child maltreatment reporting code, criminal statutes, and juvenile court jurisdiction statutes (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2009).
Types of Abuse; Providing Statistics of Each
In the FFY (Federal Fiscal Year) 2007, statistics where taken for each type of abuse; totalling 59 percent of victims experienced abuse. There are many types of abuse; physical, emotional, and sexual. Physical abuse is any form of abuse that leads to physical harm, bruises and fractures. Out of the 59 percent, 10.8 percent of adolescents are abused by this type of abuse. Emotional abuse refers to when the abuser conveys to an adolescent they are worthless, flawed, unloved, unwanted, endangered, or only of value in meeting another’s needs. Out of the 59 percent, 4.2 percent of adolescents are abused by this type of abuse. Sexual abuse is any sexual acts, sexually motivated behaviors, or sexual exploitation involving adolescents. Out of 59 percent, 7.6 percent of adolescents are abused by this type of abuse (Administration for Children and Families, 2007).
Characteristics of a Perpetrator
The characteristic of a perpetrator is any person that has been identified as one who has causes or allowed the abuse to an adolescent. This refers to a family member of the adolescent. Harm that is done by a stranger may not be considered child abuse, but be referred to as a criminal matter (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2008).
Physical and Psychological Health Developed Due to the Abuse
Common physical and psychological health problems that may develop due to the abuse are academic difficulties, concentration problems, and chronic sexual behaviors. This is to name only a few. It has been shown that children that are abused find it difficult to open up to new things and people and distance themselves from the world around them. They may find it tough to have relationships or trust anyone or thing (Jirage, 2009).