Culture and Child Abuse

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Introduction

From the legal, social, and psychological perspective, child abuse or child maltreatment has been considered a very complicated term which is emotionally charged and which has been pervasively decided part of the society. When referring to the issue of culture, the case of child maltreatment is made more complicated. Social workers, mental workers and a number of specialized individuals who have interviewed the children regarding serious issues in the society have come out with a clear picture of how the embarrassing issue of child abuse is deeply rooted. Naturally it has been unfolded that the children who often fall victims of this inhuman activities within the society do not bring out a clear picture of what is taking place in the society (Westby, 2007). Among the professionals who work with families, it has been noted that respect of an individual’s culture and its diversity is the base for success. It is for this reason that the American league for child welfare has taken into consideration and has identified culture as one of the main principles that guide a community and its actions and thus increasing the safety of the children thus minimizing the chances of abuse.  

Causes of Maltreatment among Children and Their Statistics

Child abuse or child maltreatment is defined as the violation or the mistreatment that children undergo in the very hands of the people who are expected to be their caretakers. The federation government has provided a number of set o actions that define what child neglect or abuse is (Korbin, 2009). There are various forms of abuse and the definitions of them will vary in relation to the area of jurisdiction. However, most states and nations have recognized four core forms of maltreatment. These are neglect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and physical abuse.

There is a tendency of many abusive guardians or parents having been abused in their young age. However, many parents who result into this dehumanizing tendency have never been abused. Some of the major factors that have been identified parents who are asserted to be abusive are low self esteem, hostility, low intelligence levels, isolation, immaturity, depression, drug and alcohol abuse and dependency (Aronson & Conte, 2008). These above identified factors have often been used to be responsible for the behaviors among parents that categorize or define what a large number of people have understood as child abuse. Normally, the pedigree and the cases of child abuse will vary in relation to ethnicity, race, economic position, culture and religion. By valuing and respecting diversity i.e. diverse traditions, cultures and different perspectives, people can be able to nurture and strengthen the relationships that exists thus coming up with a healthy and strong family and children. 

By acknowledging the significance of culture and the role it plays within the society is considered as the first step towards understanding the differences that exist among individuals.  Ones a cultural understanding has been created, skills are developed and a comprehension enhanced thus knowing the best and most appropriate step to take while dealing with children. As noted by Korbin (2009), there is the likelihood that once people migrant into a new country; they will bring with them their cultures.

People such as those Vietnam will not find logic when they are told not to punish their children physically because this is considered as one of their traditional ways of bringing up children. When you tell such a parent that it is wrong to physically abuse his or her child, a conflict may arise. They may assume that the authority they once possessed of bringing up their children has been lost.  The end result is confusion and stress among the parents and children especially since the parents will not understanding why they are loosing the authority of raising up their children to the state.

It is estimated that there are over two point nine million cases of child abuse reports within the US annually. Among these, one million cases are related to actual abuse among the children or neglect of the children by the parents. It has also been realized that more than one half a million of the children living in foster homes are being abused with the guardians who have been delegated the responsibility of caring for them.  However, no matter how startling these figures may be, they do not bring out the clear picture of the things on the ground (Aronson & Conte, 2008).

According to Westby (2007), the figures tend to vary in relation to race and ethnicity, the highest percentage of these children is those from the colored backgrounds. It is estimated that 59% of these total cases of child abuse were evidenced among the colored children.  The total number of children living in the US which is estimated to be above seventy two million children, 41% of these children are considered to be of colored background, i.e. the Latinos, blacks, Native Americans and Asians. Similarly, there is a misrepresentation of the children in the welfare associations since the colored children are asserted to account for more than half of those in the total population. *** asserts that for every a thousand black children, seventeen will be brought up in foster homes and they are often substantiated as being victims of child maltreatment and abuse or neglect. The Hispanics, Asian islanders and blacks have shown high numbers of child maltreatment cases. It is also essential to note that ethnicity and racial diversity of children is constantly increasing within the US.

Responding To Cases of Child Maltreatment

The agencies in charge of child welfare are owed with the responsibility of investigating and making reports of cases of child maltreatment and neglect (Aronson & Conte, 2008). The investigations carried out include interviews among subject children, siblings, parents, teachers, relatives and medical professionals. When need calls for, the children can be taken out of their homes to enhance further investigations.

In cases that deal with child maltreatment, research is based on the strict guidelines that have been set down and it does not take note of the ethnicity or culture. Child abuse rates within the community can be compared across the different ethnic groups but as already discussed, the colored children are considered very vulnerable. Among those that top the list of abused children are those of black ancestry. While the whites and the Asian children have the lowest cases of maltreatment.

In order to curb the cases of maltreatment, all the states within the United Stares have passed specific laws that mandate cases related to child abuse to be reported so as to be eligible for funding in relation tot eh Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. The states have stipulated that specific professionals report any case that they suspect is or may be related to child abuse to the liable authority. Though there are a number of cultural levels that are associated with child maltreatment and abuse, the necessary authorities have been notified of these existence and the necessary steps taken.

Conclusion

The American population is changing rapidly especially with one in every ten children born being a foreigner. Similarly, statistics have indicated that in every three Americans currently, one is a member of a minority group. With such rapid changes, the nation has become a diverse nation with different cultures and beliefs being evident.  These changes are responsible for the rampant child maltreatment and neglect case that we are experiencing as a nation and which calls for immediate and rapid actions to solve the issue before it gets out of hand (Korbin, 2009). By increasing attentiveness, the nations in conjunction with the appropriate authorities, such cases can be solved. It is important to inform each person the stipulated laws and the repercussions that follow for anyone who goes against it especially if it is related to the safety of the child.

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