Child abuse and violence against families Essay

This essay has a total of 1198 words and 7 pages.

child abuse and violence against families

Child Abuse and Violence Against Females
Domestic violence in the United States has become a major problem that affects nearly
2/3's of all people. It can affect wives, the elderly, and even men, but in this paper we
will discuss the abuse that occurs to children and also violence toward women.

It is widely assumed that most estimates of the incidence of domestic violence are
underestimates. Even large population surveys cannot provide accurate estimates of the
extent of domestic violence. This is partly because many victims feel unable to speak out
about domestic violence. The pressures of negative community attitudes toward victims,
feelings of shame, and fear of retribution from the perpetrator contribute to low levels
of disclosure of domestic violence. Also, because domestic violence often occurs in the
privacy of the home, there are few outside witnesses. Surveys often require fluency in
English, which means that the experience of people from non-English speaking background
may not be adequately represented.

Statistics from public agencies such as police, courts, counseling and accommodation
services are another source of information. However, these can only provide information
about people who come to public attention, many victims never contact such agencies. Some
agencies do not collect statistics on domestic violence, and those that do define and
record domestic violence in different ways.

The Women's Safety Survey in 1996 surveyed approximately 6,300 women about their
experience of actual or threatened physical and sexual violence. Based on the survey
results, they estimated that, in the 12 months prior to completing the survey:

· 7.1 % of the adult female population experienced violence. 6.2% of women
experienced violence perpetrated by a male, and 1.6% experienced violence perpetrated by a
female.

· 2.6% of women who were married or in a defacto relationship had experienced
violence perpetrated by their current partner.

· 4.8% of unmarried women had experienced violence by their previous partner in the last 12 months.

Of women who had been physically assaulted in the 12-month period, 58% spoke to a friend
or neighbor, 53% spoke to a family member, 12% spoke to a counselor, and 4.5% spoke to a
crisis service organization. Only 19% reported the incident to police, and women who
experienced violence by a current partner were least likely to have reported the assault,
while women who were assaulted by a stranger were more likely to report to police. 18% had
never told anyone about the incident.

Now we come to the question, why would a woman whose face is disfigured, whose bones are
broken, whose pregnancy is lost, remain with a spouse who might beat her to death?

For some, there is no exit. It is like the door is open but she cannot leave. She has no
resources of her own, she needs to provide for her children, she is terrified of the
police, and social workers are people who can declare you an unfit mother. The perpetrator
has threatened to kill her if she leaves or if she tells and she knows no safe haven from
him. There is also no federal witness protection program for domestic assault victims.

Some women hold onto hope for the chance of better times. The cycle of tension, abuse,
relief; tension, abuse, relief has periods in which optimism is rewarded. Hope for the
ending of battering is realized and the relief experienced in the periods of peace is
strong. We know there is nothing as powerful as relief from torture as a positive reward
for desired behavior. For some battered women the thin thread of hope and the brief
experience of relief reinforces her decision to stay.

Child abuse can be physical -- shaking, hitting, beating, burning, or biting a child;
emotional -- constantly blaming or putting down a child; excessive yelling, shaming;
sexual- incest, any forced sexual activity, exposure to sexual stimulation not appropriate
for the child's age; neglect-- a pattern of failure to provide for the child's physical
needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical care; a pattern of failure to provide
for the child's emotional needs, such as affection, attention, and supervision.

In an abusive environment, children are often expected to behave as if they are much older
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