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1 For 1991 and 1992, more than one type of maltreatment may be substantiated per child. Therefore, the total for this item adds up to more than 100%
2 Since 1997, Hispanic ethnicity has been collected seperately from race thus percentages add to more than one hundred percent. Some States were unable to report on the number of Hispanic victims, thus it is probable that nationwide the percentage of Hispanic victims is higher than indicated.
Source: U.S. Deparment of Health and Human Services, National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, Working Paper 2, 1991 Summary Data Component, May 1993. Child Maltreatment - 1992, May 1994; and Child Maltreatment -1993, April 1995; Child Maltreatment -- 1994, May 1995; and Child Maltreatment -- 1995. Child Maltreatment 1996: Reports From the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect System, April 1998. Child Maltreatment 1997: Reports From the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect System, April 1999.
* WHAT IS CHILD MALTREATMENT?
Child abuse and neglect are defined in both Federal and State legislation. The Federal legislation provides a foundation for States by identifying a minimum set of acts or behaviors that characterize maltreatment. This legislation also defines what acts are considered physical abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse.
HOW DO WE DEFINE CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT?
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended and reauthorized in October 1996 (Public Law 104-235, Section 111; 42 U.S.C. 5106g), defines child abuse and neglect as, at a minimum, any recent act or failure to act:
Resulting in imminent risk of serious harm, death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation
Of a child (a person under the age of 18, unless the child protection law of the State in which the child resides specifies a younger age for cases not involving sexual abuse)
By a parent or caretaker (including any employee of a residential facility or any staff person providing out-of-home care) who is responsible for the child's welfare.
CAPTA defines sexual abuse as:
Employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or any simulation of such conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct; or
rape, and in cases of caretaker or inter-familial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children.
With the reauthorization of CAPTA, withholding of medically indicated treatment has been defined as failure to respond to an infant's life-threatening conditions by denial of treatment (including appropriate nutrition, hydration, and medication) that would most likely be effective in ameliorating or correcting all life-threatening conditions. This definition does not refer to situations where treatment of an infant, in the treating physician's reasonable medical judgment, would prolong dying, be ineffective in ameliorating or correcting all the infant's life-threatening conditions, or be futile in helping the infant to survive. In addition, this definition does not include situations where the infant is chronically or irreversibly comatose.
Each State is responsible for providing definitions of child abuse and neglect within the civil and criminal context. Civil laws, or statutes, describe the circumstances and conditions that obligate mandated reporters to report known or suspected cases of abuse, and they provide definitions necessary for juvenile/family courts to take custody of a child alleged to have been maltreated. Criminal statutes specify the forms of maltreatment that are criminally punishable. (The State Statutes Desk at the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information offers a comprehensive resource summarizing over 30 civil and criminal State statutes pertaining to child maltreatment.) * WHAT ARE THE MAIN TYPES OF MALTREATMENT?
There are four major types of child maltreatment: physical abuse, child neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse.
Physical abuse is the infliction of physical injury as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, shaking, or otherwise harming a child. The parent or caretaker may not have intended to hurt the child, rather the injury may have resulted from over-discipline or physical punishment.
Child neglect is characterized by failure to provide for the child's basic needs. Neglect can be physical, educational, or emotional. Physical neglect includes refusal of or delay in seeking health care, abandonment, expulsion from the home or refusal to allow a runaway to return home, and inadequate supervision. Educational neglect includes the allowance of chronic truancy, failure to enroll a child of mandatory school age in school, and failure to attend to a special educational need. Emotional neglect includes such actions as marked inattention to the child's needs for affection, refusal of or failure to provide needed psychological care, spouse abuse in the child's presence, and permission of drug or alcohol use by the child. The assessment of child neglect requires consideration of cultural values and standards of care as well as recognition that the failure to provide the necessities of life may be related to poverty.
Sexual abuse includes fondling a child's genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, exhibitionism, and commercial exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials. Many experts believe that sexual abuse is the most under-reported form of child maltreatment because of the secrecy or "conspiracy of silence" that so often characterizes these cases.
Emotional Abuse (Psychological/Verbal Abuse/Mental Injury)
Emotional abuse includes acts or omissions by the parents or other caregivers that have caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or mental disorders. In some cases of emotional abuse, the acts of parents or other caregivers alone, without any harm evident in the child's behavior or condition, are sufficient to warrant child protective services (CPS) intervention. For example, the parents/caregivers may use extreme or bizarre forms of punishment, such as confinement of a child in a dark closet. Less severe acts, such as habitual scapegoating, belittling, or rejecting treatment, are often difficult to prove and, therefore, CPS may not be able to intervene without evidence of harm to the child.
Although any of the forms of child maltreatment may be found separately, they often occur in combination. Emotional abuse is almost always present when other forms are identified.
These tables are based on figures supplied by the United States Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce and are subject to revision by the Census Bureau.
Copyright © 2006 Photius Coutsoukis and Information Technology Associates, all rights reserved.