Child Abuse Prevention: What Qualifies as Physical Child Abuse?

Thomas J. Henry launches its Child Abuse Prevention Month series by explaining physical abuse and how it affects children around the world.

What is Physical Abuse?

Physical abuse is any malicious act that causes physical injury, such as beating, shaking, biting, burning, or otherwise harming a child, but physical abuse is also as quiet as failing to provide appropriate care, such as neglecting a child. According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, as much as 1 in every 14 children are victims of physical abuse.

Physical abuse can come from anywhere—within the family and outside in the community—and it is often an unseen tragedy. Children have no voice, no influence, no way to escape their circumstances. Many of them live in constant fear.

The Effects of Physical Abuse

The effects of child abuse are both physical and mental, and they last a lifetime. Some effects include brain damage, hearing or vision loss, or other disabilities. Abuse can also cause children to develop severe emotional, behavioral, or learning problems.

Because abuse effects one’s self-esteem and ability to communicate, children often struggle to function socially in public even after the abuse has ended. Many children who live through abuse become depressed and turn to smoking, alcohol, or illicit drugs in later years, leading to further damage to their bodies.

The effects of abuse are exhaustive and crippling. Children need a voice—the help of educators, supervisors, adults, and even strangers—to escape the turmoil of abuse and bring their abusers to justice.

The month of April has been set aside to raise awareness for these troubled children. Thomas J. Henry is taking part in the Child Abuse Prevention Month this year through a series of informative blogs to teach others the signs of abuse and how they should react.

Become an advocate for these struggling children by educating yourself and others. Learn the signs of child abuse and how to confront it in our upcoming blogs. Together, let’s end child abuse.

National Child Abuse Statistics

Information below provided by the American Society for the Positive Care of Children (SPCC):

  • In 2017, 4.1 million child maltreatment referral reports received. Child abuse reports involved 7.5 million children.
    • 9% of victims are neglected.
    • 3% of victims are physically abused.
    • 6% of victims are sexually abused.
    • 1% of victims are psychologically maltreated.
  • 3.2 million children received prevention & post-response services. 142,301 children received foster care services.
  • Highest rate of child abuse in children under age one (25.3% per 1,000).
  • 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect in 2017. That averages to almost five deaths every day.
  • Seventy-two (71.8%) percent of all child fatalities were younger than 3 years old.
  • 1% of child fatalities involve at least one parent.
  • Of the children who died, 41.6% suffered physical abuse either exclusively or in combination with another maltreatment type.
  • 6% of children who die from child abuse are under one year.
  • Boys had a higher child fatality rate than girls (2.68 boys & 2.02 girls per 100,000)1
  • Child abuse crosses all socioeconomic and educational levels, religions, ethnic and cultural groups.

Contact an Experienced Child Abuse Attorney

If you believe that your child has been the victim of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, contact Thomas J. Henry. For over two decades, Thomas J. Henry has been an advocate for physical abuse victims across the state of Texas. Our experienced child injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call. Contact us today for a free case review.

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