Child Abuse

Imagine for one moment that you are not yourself any longer.
Visualize instead that you are a young girl; old enough to know right
from wrong yet still young enough to be terrified by the dark shadows
in your room. It is a cool autumn night and your parents have opted
to attend a party which you are not allowed at. “It will be fine,?
they say. Although you already know what is to come. Your uncle comes
over to watch you for the evening, and your parents are so pleased by
the fact that they do not have to find a sitter. As soon as he
arrives, your mother kisses you on the cheek and scurries out the door
to join your father already waiting in the car outside. The nightmare
begins. His slimy hands casually slide an ebony cartridge into the
VCR as he smiles at you seductively. You can feel his eyes worming
their gaze through your clothes every time that he looks at you. You
feel dirty and violated every time you think about what he does to you
when you are alone. He walks over to the couch and sits down next to
you. His hand slithers it way onto your knee and you cringe in
revulsion. “Don’t be afraid, I won’t hurt you,?he chides. Your mind
feels panicky as you feel his touch in more intimate places and you
scream involuntarily. His grip tightens as he places his hand over
your mouth. “We’ll have to do this the hard way!?comes his intense
whisper. You flail your arms at him, but it doesn’t help. His
writhing massive body is on top of yours, and you feel so powerless.
Eventually, you sink into a sobbing heap and simply wait for his
passions to stop. You wait for the nightmare to end. When he is
done, you limp to the laundry room and try fruitlessly to get the
blood stains out of your clothes. It is all your fault...

Abuse: The violation or defilement of;

What you have just experienced is one type of abuse that
occurs millions of times every year across America. Estimates of
abuse range wildly depending on the source of ones information. From
one to two million children per year are victims of child abuse.
(Dolan p.3) All sources agree on the simple truth that not nearly all
cases of child abuse are reported or even estimated. Man cases go
unreported, less than 50% by current estimates. (Dolan p.3) The
amount of child abuse is staggering to think about, let alone deal
with. By the age of eighteen one in three girls will have been
sexually molested and one in six boys will have been molested in that
same time frame. (WWW site). Although, throughout this paper we shall
discuss not only the effects of sexual abuse but abuse in all its
forms. These include Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Mental Abuse and
Neglect. We will also Touch upon the basic question of this report,
and that is, “How has child abuse changed over the last 100 years and
what effects has this had on the family??This brings us to our first
research area, change.
It is clear that families are undergoing a number of important
structural changes: families are smaller than in the past, with fewer
children and sometimes with only one parent; parents have children at
a later age; more couples live together without the bonds of matrimony
which was accepted as a sacred bond so few years in human history.
The source of this degradation of such a basic unit of society is
unknown throughout all areas of research which I canvassed in my
quest. It is a question that one person needs to answer for himself
and solve for himself. Something a young child is not capable of
Physical abuse has many forms. It may involve the hitting or
kicking of a child with the fists or the feet, or with another object;
such as belts, shovels, changes, ropes, electric cords, leather
straps, canes, baseball bats, sticks, broom handles, or assorted large
objects. Other forms of abuse include the pouring of scalding water
or coffee on a child’s body, holding a child’s head under the water of
a toilet bowl, stuffed into running washing machines, throwing a