Sharing Nature with Children, 20th Anniversary Edition, by Joseph Bharat Cornell
Recommended by American Camping Association, National Audubon Society and many others.
Child Maltreatment: Theory and Research on the Causes and Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect, by Dante Cicchetti, Vicki Carlson
An important reference work that bridges the gap between the study of child maltreatment and child development. It is a necessary addition to the professional library of students of both topics." --Richard J. Gelles, American Journal of Sociology
Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse by Gregory L. Jantz PhD
How those who have been abused by a spouse, parent, employer, or minister can overcome the past and rebuild their self-image.
Child Abuse and Culture: Working with Diverse Families, by Lisa Aronson Fontes PhD
A comprehensive presentation of complex cultural issues with abundant examples drawn from [the author's] experience as a psychologist, educator, and researcher.
Treating Self-Destructive Behaviors in Trauma Survivors: A Clinician's Guide, by Lisa Ferentz
Like most Routledge psychology books, this is well-developed and excellent, with valuable information for the reader. Wounds of child abuse can heal and require special attention and insight. Compassionate persons, including professionals, can help in that process.
The Courage to Heal 4e: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse 20th Anniversary Edition, by Ellen Bass, Laura Davis
Help and encouragement to women who were sexually abused in childhood. Through moving first person narratives, it illustrates how to come to terms with the past and work constructively towards the future. --Library Journal
Image: Endchildabuse - From One Stand Against Child Abuse
Psychology Book Reviews: Poisonous Parenting - Toxic Relationships Between Parents and Their Adult Children
Page updated: March 15, 2015
Child Abuse Causes
The causes of child abuse are many and varied. Often times child abuse is passed on from parent to child. The parent is abused or abandoned by their parents, and the tradition is passed on to the next generation. The child does not know the meaning of love and knows only to express emotion or control their children in the same way that they were treated when young. In some families, that chain of abuse is broken, and the next generation does not pass the tradition of abuse on.
International Child Abuse: The child abuse rate in Brasil, as one example, is 25%. The causes of child abuse are many and varied. Child abuse is often passed on from parents to children, however, through education and love, it is possible to break the chains of child abuse.
Some who have been abused have described a "rage" inside of them, that remains until adulthood. At times, talking things of the past out helps to subdue that "rage". Sometimes it might be necessary to talk out details of the past to a sympathetic listener.
A person who has been sexually abused as a child stands a greater chance of themselves being an abuser when they are adults. In this respect, it is important to have a "safety net of nurturers," either through professionals in the education system, or psychologists, social workers or services, who provide a haven of love and approval for children who have been abused. This is not always the case, or necessarily true in a majority of cases. There are many many who have been abused who successfully break that chain, probably the majority, (though no statistics are available to prove that presently.)
Parents may be under economic or other pressure. Children are difficult, they require care. The parent might be resentful of the child if the child was the result of an unwanted pregnancy, or if there are problems with the father and view the child as a burden, or as something that interfered with their plans in life. That resentment can take the form of child abuse.
Additionally, parents and children today often are involved with violent programming and entertainment through the media. Extremely violent movies and television programs are being viewed by children as young as 1st grade or even kindergarten, 7 year-old children are regularly watching such violent programming, and parents as well. This is something that has been documented for 13 years or more. (Schmitt). It has been documented as well that what one watches on television and other forms of media does have an impact on behavior. Even psychopathic behavior is something that can have a connection with excessive exposure to violence in the media . (Joel Nigg, Associate Professor of Psychology, Michigan State University, 2006) It stands to reason that it also might be one factor in child abuse as well.
Violent sports might also have an effect on child abuse. One study of Washington Redskins wins links the winning in NFL football games with a corresponding rise in domestic abuse following Redskins wins. Dr. Stadler concludes, "Losses makes people violent, winning makes people more violent." The Psychology of Baseball; Mike Stadler, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Missouri; Gotham books; p.212.
Child pornography has proliferated on the Internet and other sources. It influences the thinking of thousands and also is part of the chain of the sexual abuse of children. Pornography, in general, is part of that chain. Alcohol and drug abuse also contribute to child abuse. It has been stated that one simple prevention measure has been to increase the alcohol tax. This has made alcohol less accessible and led to lower rates of child abuse, in areas where these measure has been implemented. (WHO). A similar measure could be implemented with pornography, making it less accessible in certain forms. The government does play a role in how actively they pursue some of the more harder forms of pornography such as those involving child abuse and gruesome forms of pornography such as bestiality. The Bush administration is said to have been diligent in the attempt to prosecute distributors and producers of such pornography. The Clinton administration was not.
Sexual exploitation of minors is also a form of child abuse
Thousands of girls are sold for prostitution from such places as Nepal, to work in brothels in Bombay India or other Indian cities. Thousands of girls from China are similarly sold by their fathers and work as prostitutes in Thailand or Singapore. Many times, they are sold to pay off a debt or for money.
Girls who are sexually abused at home by fathers, brothers or others in the family, or neighbors, may end up on the streets, working as prostitutes. This is the case of girls in Africa and Brazil. One account refers to the Brazilian prostitutes, young ladies, as Cinderellas of the Sand, their life of abuse, as in the fairy tale, leading, not to a Prince Charming, but to prostitution. In Newark, NJ, and others cities in NJ and the United States, go-go bars feature a form of prostitution where illegal immigrants come to make money dancing and collect money from male patrons, often $300 a day. At times underage females are coerced by their mothers to dance in such bars. Many dancers are under the legal drinking age in bars where alcohol is served.
Go-go dancing is a form of sex slavery and these days, the way it is practiced, according to some who have witnessed it, features acts of prostitution by many of the dancers. However, when minors are involved, in addition to being a form of sex slavery, it is also a form of child abuse. Often times the women who end up dancing in go-go bars have themselves been abused and come to the United States to escape an abusive life in Brazil. Not able to find work, many end up dancing or working in the go-go bars. Or, many come to the U.S. for the purpose, learning of the opportunity to make big money in the US dancing. But also, go-go bar dancing is a part of the chain of child abuse, as so many of the woman dancing have been victims of such abuse.
ART and its help in reinforcing self esteem for victims of child abuse
Victims of child abuse inevitably lose self-esteem. Self-esteem and a feeling of self-worth is essential to be able to continue in life with dignity. The Bible and Bible study can help a person who is a victim of child abuse to develop self-esteem in that it is strengthening, it helps a person to see that they have value in God?s eyes, and it instills feelings of hope.
Art also is a wonderful way for a person to develop self-esteem and to find a peaceful space in life, as well as strengthen the mind or make a living. It can help persons who have been victims of child abuse to heal emotionally. It is an effective form of therapy for both children and adults who have been victims of child abuse. It is a healing tool. For any woman, or man, who has been the victim of child abuse, or is trying to or has gotten out of prostitution, art is something that should be a part of their lives as a healing and copying tool. Keeping a journal, writing down one's experiences, as well as talking about such things to a sympathetic listener, a psychologist, a minister, a teacher, someone who can listen, giving advice even is unnecessary in many cases. For some, writing poetry can also serve as a catharsis.
Some of the legal, social, economic, and philosophical issues of parent-child relationships.
A parent has the legal responsibility to care for their children, both economically and as well as the "raising" of a child, teaching him or her beyond the education that they might have in school. The parent needs to ensure, as well as is reasonably possible, that their children are protected from abuse, or protected from any physical danger. If the parent needs to work, then appropriate placement in daycare is essential, probably preferable than leaving a child with a friend. If there is a grandparent or sister who can care for the child, then that too is necessary, should the parent need to work secularly.
The parent also has the responsibility to provide food regularly and a clean home for the child, as well as cleaning the child himself or herself, when a baby and until he or she gets old enough to care for himself. A parent cannot leave a child alone while he or she goes out on errands or works. The baby or child needs to be cared for. This is true also in a car, a child should not be left alone in a car. Parents who are careless about the welfare of their children, might suffer legal repercussions, should the child come into harm or death.
There may be economic challenges, especially for a single mother, if she needs to work and the baby needs to be cared for. Social services can provide the help a mother might need in this situation. Also, a parent should provide a haven of love for their children. Children need food and shelter, protection, but they also need love. It was found that babies in orphanages who received love and coddling, survived better than children who did not. A home should be free from hitting, yelling or screaming, and ridicule directed at a child. Parents should take care not to overindulge in alcohol or take drugs in the presence of children.
Also, parents would be negligent if they allowed an underage child to see pornography or expose a child to pornography. This also would endanger that child?s opportunity for innocence in his or her formative years. In the case of a father of a child who does not live with him, he would legally be bound to providing materially for that child, according to the statues that are mandated by a legally binding agreement, possibly imposed by the court. Fathers who did not provide for their children, could be subject to jail time. Mothers who allow or encourage their daughters to dance in go-go bars in the United States also would be guilty of parental or even criminal negligence and could suffer deportation, losing custody of one's child or even jail time.
Child Abuse Causes Conclusion
Our greatest need is love. When a person is lost in the wilderness, it is said that the first thing they should do, isn?t erect a sleeping structure, but build a fire. The reason is, the light and warmth provides an emotional comfort zone, and reference point, that will give encouragement so that a person can go about the other essential tasks of survival. Some children refuse to eat in an attempt to get attention or love. Children need love as much as food. A child who is denied that basic human need is going to suffer emotionally for the rest of their life. It is up to parents to make efforts to show love and affection for children, as well as providing and protecting them.
It is up to teachers and other professionals who work with children, also to show love to their students, something they may not be getting at home. Sometimes, one word, or one conversation that demonstrates personal interest, support or encouragement can make a difference in the life of a child. If a child can be taught to believe that he has worth, that he has value and that can be reinforced throughout the school year, then it can help a child to be successful or to weather whatever storms of life that he or she is going through. This can be true of others adults who are not related to education as well, a grandparent, an uncle or older brother or sister, can supply the love, the support for a child or teenager who is experiencing abuse.
Encouraging also, is that persons who have been victims of abuse are not necessarily doomed to a failed life. Many persons who have endured terrible abuse, have not passed that tradition on to their children or to the next generation and have even been a source of help and encouragement for others who have been through abuse, having been through it themselves. Wounds of child abuse can heal and be healed. Love is a healer; helping other people, giving of love, is also a healer, it is like exercising a muscle.
Relationships between the abuser and the abused can be restored, between a parent and child, often times with the adult victim of abuse taking the initiative to confront or to make reconciliation with the parent. At times, parents have guilt or contrition over abuse, life?s overwhelming circumstances or their own personal weakness or failures having led them to be abusive. But as adults, they feel remorse over such actions with their children. An acknowledgement and apology by parents who might have abused his or her children is appropriate and can help to restore relations between the victims of abuse, and also help to ease the emotional pain and psychological trauma of the victim of abuse, now an adult. Where there is life there is hope, and we need to keep positive, help people and children with distressing circumstances, and never give up.
Pages Related to Child Abuse and Neglect Information
Child Abuse - Main page
Legal Development and Child Abuse Laws
Child Abuse History - The story of Mary Ellen, 1873
Child Abuse Organizations / References - Child Abuse
Abusar das Criancas, Portuguese
How Exposure to Pornography Effects Children