Child Abuse: A Social Problem

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What is a social problem and how does one define it? According to author Robert Lauer, a social problem is defined as, a condition or pattern of behavior that contradicts some other condition or pattern of behavior; is defined as incompatible with the deserved quality of life; is caused, facilitated, or prolonged by social factors. Most times when looking at a social problem, we look at problems outside our homes when in reality we can encounter social problems under our own roof. I feel as though child abuse should be considered a social problem as it affects millions of children and society as a whole.

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Although this is a major issue, often times it is dismissed or not seen as a big problem by society or even the government. Child abuse is a major issue as children make our tomorrow, if children are being affected from a young age, they are likely to be affected when they are adults and that is not good for them nor society. Child abuse is a recurring issue in America and something jurassic needs to be done to eradicate this problem.

In a recent journal titled, Child Abuse and Neglect/A Multidimensional Approach by Alexander Muela, he historically defines child abuse as,“all actions carried out by caregivers, which significantly interfere in the child’s optimum development and do not adhere to social standards, including things like emotional deprivation, malnutrition, child neglect and physical and emotional abandonment.” This definition touches on everything that shapes why child abuse should be defined as a social problem and not seen as a personal one. Children are the future and imagine if every child in the world were being abused? We would no longer have bright minds shaping the world, inventing new technology, coming up with different ideas to make the world a better place and most of all, we would have a lower population due to some cases leading to fatality. The issue of child abuse is a social problem, and we as a society need to find a solution.

When looking at a social problem, one must first look at the who the issue affects and how they are affected. According to childtrends.org the number of child maltreatment cases/victims have risen from a whopping 860,000 to 1,032,000 over the past few years with the ratio of fifteen incidents to every one thousand children. The first figure alone was saddening but to know that cases have increased by such a disgusting amount should alert us all that there is an issue. Within all these cases, it is reported that younger children experience higher rates of abuse than older children. Statistics from Child Trends also reported that that children three and younger experienced more mistreatment and child abuse as compared to those who were older.

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