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Child abuse is described in the terms of physical, sexual, emotional mistreatment, or neglect of a child. Actually, abuse is any act that includes commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in hurt, potential for harm, or threat of harm to children. Child abuse is classified in four major categories: neglect, psychological and emotional abuse, physical abuse, and child sexual abuse. In most of the cases, child abuse occurs at home, but it can also take place in organizations, schools and communities.

Consequences of child abuse

The effects of child abuse are severe and long lasting, including many psychological and physical effects such as higher adult rates of chronic conditions, high-risk health behaviors and shortened lifespan. These children are also at risk of developing psychiatric problems, or a disorganized attachment style, anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Children who are physically abused usually suffer physical consequences such as bone fractures, particularly rib fractures. Moreover, they are at the higher risk of developing cancer. They are more likely to be arrested as juvenile delinquents, and more likely to commit a violent crime.

Child abuse statistics

Child abuse statistics are frightening. As you are reading this article, a report of child abuse is made every ten seconds. About five abused children die every day as a result of neglect, cruelty and mistreatment. These victims are usually under the age of four. There are different types of child abuse. About 59% abused children are suffering from neglect, 10% of them suffer physical abuse, 7.6% suffer sexual abuse, 4.2% live through psychological maltreatment, 0.9% are medically neglected, and 17.4% suffer other types of child abuse.

In most of the cases, the abuse of a child happens at home. In 90% of cases, sexually abused children know their perpetrator in some way. About 68% of them are even abused by a family member. This unfortunately happens at all socioeconomic levels, and across different ethnic and cultural lines. What is even more disturbing is that about 60% of people in drug rehabilitation centers report being abused or neglected as a child.

Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy, and three times less likely to practice safe sex. According to the official statistics, 14% of all men and 36% of all women in prisons in the USA were abused as children. Over 3 million reports of child abuse are made every year in the United States, but the actual number of neglected children is much higher, since some of the reports include multiple victims, while some of the abuses are never being reported.

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