Child abuse is a problem around the world. In the United States alone over 2.9 million children are abused each year. In the state of Georgia there are an estimated 693,174 children suffering some type of abuse yearly. Abused children range from infancy through young adulthood. Child abuse endangers the health and welfare of children. In our state, we determined the largest population of abused children ranged from the ages of 4 to 6 years old, and many times the abuse came from a family member. There are many forms of abuse such as physical and emotional.
There are many factors that contribute to child abuse such as immaturity of parents, non-parenting skills, and poor childhood experiences or being abused as children, drug or alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and social isolation of the parents. Physical abuse leaves bruises, scars, and can cause the loss of life. Many times physical abuse comes from excessive discipline or beating of a child. Emotional abuse affects children’s mental state and social abilities. We discovered that emotional abuse happens across social classes. Emotional abuse does not leave physical scars, but often children show emotional abuse by becoming abusers themselves, becoming withdrawn, or lashing out at others. Our research stated in 2005 3.3 million abuse cases were reported across the country, involving some 6.6 million children.
Preventing child abuse is a responsibility of all citizens. Any caring person can help prevent child abuse. Activities such as parental involvement classes, mentoring programs, and after-school activities can help prevent or support children who are being abused. Most of all, if you believe a friend or classmate is being abused please tell the counselor or an adult. Together we can make all children feel safe.
Ms. Gore’s 5th Grade Class
International Studies Elementary Charter School, Albany