Child abuse in Federal Law refers to any recent act or failure to act on the part of the parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or domestic harm, sexual abuse or exploitation: an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk or serious harm. A child according to the same definitions is a person under the age of 18 or an unemancipated minor.
Domestic violence and emotional abuse on the other hand are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay or lesbian; living together separated or dating.
Domestic violence and child abuse have been found to have a correlation. Studies on this topic have been conducted and findings documented. However, different situations arise in different environments. This research therefore seeks to further investigate the contributions that domestic violence have towards child abuse.
Several researches have been conducted concerning this given topic. Child abuse is a phenomenon that has been in place since the beginning of humanity. It has been established that domestic violence is a leading cause of child abuse. In Massachusetts, mothers of children who were victims in child abuse that were admitted in a given hospital stated that they had equally been victims of domestic violence.
The correlation comes in when the abusive spouse wants to prove a point to the other spouse and ends up abusing the child. According to the definitions given for child abuse, it vividly shows that it may even occur unintentionally. Such a case would occur when the abuse parent is throwing a harmful object to their spouse and the object ends up hitting the child instead. That occurs in younger children, for older children, it could occur when they are defending their parents against the attack.
Statistics indicate that 95% of the reported cases are of men abusing their wives. History has it that men have always found themselves to be the superior sex to women. They have equally done irrational things to make this point clear to their female counterparts. Statistics also indicate that children who have been abused while they are young are likely to abuse their offspring even worse. This is negative information to the intervention parties since if they do not make an early intervention to mitigate child abuse, then the situation will likely worsen when the child is older. However, the same fact can be used positively. Such a fact indicates that in order to avert child abuse they have to approach it at the family level.
The adversity of child abuse can be devastating. It is not only physical harm that comes about but also emotional harm to the children, on the part of physical harm, photos and videos of children who have been victims of child abuse have been circulating around the internet and even in newspapers. The people viewing these photos have spoken of the act as despicable. Some of them still go ahead in latter times and abuse their children!
Post-traumatic stress disorder is also a common medical condition for abused children. They tend to stick in that messy situations and their mental capacities deteriorate equally. Most of them are unable to make conscious decisions. If this disorder is not treated while they are still young, they could grow up with it. Such growth is limiting in so many ways. These children develop psychopathic behavior. It is very much probable that they are the serial killers, sexual molesters, bank robbers and cultic followers and other psychopaths that we see about.
The overall conclusion is that domestic violence should be tackled whenever possible. The rights of children should be made known to them. The challenge however that is their caretakers and parents do not make such information available to them. The solution would be that the government and intervening agencies should make it up to them to follow up on the different homesteads and confirm that these children are not subjected to any kind of violence.
Their rights should also be made known to them through their learning institutions. Their teachers should be able to decipher whether a child is showing any kind of post traumatic stress disorder syndrome due to child abuse. This can be done through ensuring that the teachers are vast with the field of psychology. Often teachers punish their pupils for improper behavior in school not knowing what the underlying cause of this behavior is. In case they call their parents and the situation in their homes is not sound, the parents may cover up for their actions. They may even end up supporting the teachers in acknowledging that the child has serially been reported for having committed crimes against the school code.
Given such a case, the student may be totally devastated. They could not be having anywhere to share their problems, their parents are less likely to listen to them and neither are their teachers. Some children end up running away from their homes and they become parking boys, drug peddlers, some girls become commercial prostitutes. Some engage in sweat shops and work for such long hours in such bad conditions that their health deteriorates.