Every year, Child Protective Services receives over 3 million reports of child abuse, and approximately 5 children lose their lives every day due to abuse or neglect.
The United States is currently dealing with an epidemic when it comes to cases of child abuse and neglect, but many Americans still remain unaware of the extent of this crisis. To make matters worse, some studies estimate that 2 out of every 3 incidents of child abuse and neglect are not even reported.
Many children are abused and neglected in trusted environments such as licensed Day Care Centers, Religious Programs for Kids, After School Programs and more. When you pay to place your child in a reputable, licensed childcare facility, you are doing so under the notion that this is a safe place. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. So you must always be aware and ask lots of questions.
Understanding the warning signs of child abuse and neglect are the best ways for all of us to help minimize this senseless epidemic.
The US Department of Health & Human Services defines Child Abuse as “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.” Within this broad definition, most cases of abuse can be categorized in one of four camps:
- Neglect: Denying a child access to their most basic needs, either physical (ie: food & water), educational or emotional.
- Physical: Physically injuring a child with an act of violence.
- Sexual: May include indecent exposure, inappropriate or unwanted touching, and/or illicit photographic materials.
- Emotional: Impairing the development of a child through excessive criticism, threats, rejection or personal attack.
In a vast majority of cases, close to 90% by some estimates, child abuse and neglect is perpetrated by an authority figure that the child knows well. The immediate consequences of child abuse, including physical injuries and intense mental anguish, are disturbing enough on their own.
However, the real damage of abuse often does not appear until years after the incident occurs. Individuals that experience some form of abuse or neglect as children are far more likely than their peers to struggle with substance abuse, psychological disorders, criminal behavior and serious health issues including heart disease, liver disease, obesity and cancer.
Familiarizing yourself with the signs of child abuse is one of the best tools at your disposal to help end this epidemic. You can view a checklist of warning signs here, and learn more about the proper way to report incidents of child abuse here.
If a loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect from a trusted establishment, contact The Yost Legal Group today for a free confidential consultation. We’re here to help you through this difficult time.
If we take your case it will be on a no fee or expense basis unless you recover.
Call The Yost Legal Group today and speak to an attorney for a free initial consultation about your case at 1-800-YOST-LAW (1-800-967-8529).
The Yost Legal Group, Helping Fight Clergy Abuse & Other Abuses Against Children.