Why are so Many Children Dying From Child Abuse and Neglect?
The issue of child abuse and neglect is a serious matter in this country. One may wonder why people are not more outraged by the numbers of children being abused and neglected daily in this country. We should be doing so much more to protect our children from the abuses they are suffering. There are so many questions as to why this is happening so frequently. The questions we should consider are, what exactly is being done to combat this problem? How often is this happening? What are some of the reasons for child and abuse and neglect?
THE NUMBERS IN 2016
There were approximately 4.1 million reports of child abuse to Child Protective Services involving 7.4 million children.
Approximately 1,750 children died from child abuse.
Approximately 74.8% of the children suffered from neglect; and 18.2% suffered from physical abuse; and 8.2% were sexually abused. 78% of child fatalities involved one or more parents. The Department of Health and Human Services defines neglect as “the failure of a parent or other person of responsibility for the child to provide needed food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision to the degree that the child’s health, safety, and well-being are threatened with harm.” The Department of Health and Human Services defines physical abuse as “any non-accidental physical injury to the child and can include striking, kicking, burning or biting the child, or any action that that results in physical impairment of child.”
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the national rate of child fatalities was 2.36 deaths per 100,000 children. 70.3% of the children who died were under 3 years old.
STATES REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
All 48 states have laws that require certain professions to report child abuse and neglect. Those professions are:
Social workers, teachers and other school personnel, physicians and other health-care workers, mental health professionals, child care providers, medical examiners or coroners, and law enforcement officers.
There are certain States that require you to report child abuse or neglect if you witness it, and if you don’t report it you could be brought up on charges. Those states are:
Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.
There are numerous reasons why there are so many abused and neglected children. I came up with a list of some of the possible reasons. A few of the reasons children are abused and neglected are:
Teen Pregnancy - Too many young teenagers are having babies when they are not prepared for this huge responsibility. Teens have been getting pregnant for years, but the difference now is that the teens today do not have the extended family to depend on as they once did, so teens are left to raise their children without much help from the grandparents, aunts and uncles.
Drugs and Alcohol - This is huge problem in families today. Drugs and alcohol are the root cause of child abuse and neglect in the majority of cases. Parents cannot make good decisions for their children when they are addicted to drugs and alcohol. Children that witness the addiction in the household will sometimes turn to drugs and alcohol at very young ages, and the problem goes from generation to generation.
Lack of Parenting Education - In some states, before you can be granted a divorce, you have to take a parenting class. Why shouldn’t you be required to take a parenting class when you get pregnant? This would be so beneficial for young parents who don’t have parents or outside assistance to help guide them through parenting a child.
Mental Health - So many parents are in need of mental health care due to stress, depression, anxiety and a number of other reasons. When these parents are not given the mental health attention they need, the children suffer by way of child abuse and neglect.
With all of the information we have regarding child abuse and neglect it is time for us to do our part to remedy this problem by stepping up to the plate when you can. If you have a friend or relative that you suspect is abusing their child, it is your responsibility to do something to protect that child. We can no longer say “it’s none of our business”, because it is our business to rescue these poor children from the abuse and neglect they are living with everyday.