Child Abuse, Youth Abuse, Child Maltreatment
MEANING: The sexual, violent, physical, emotional abuse or neglect of a child up to the legal age of 18. Neglect can be physical, educational or emotional. Abuse can include verbal, social, economic, intellectual or spiritual abuse. Abuse gets worse as boys and girls increase in age. 2 million cases of child abuse are reported each year in the USA alone.
Because children are so helpless and depend on adults for basic needs such as food and clothing as well as guidance, all forms of abuse apply. Because children are not fully developed human beings, they are especially vulnerable. So while a child might have a warm comfortable home, that same child might be intellectually abused by a parent who does not respect the child’s intellectual interests.
Child abuse is the worst because the scars will last a life time and the child may never develop into a healthy manner due to the abuse. Also the abuse suffered by the child may be passed on to the next generation continuing the intergenerational cycle of abuse.