About Child Abuse
and/or mistreatment of a child that results in non-accidental harm is
child abuse. The term “child abuse” does not just include
physical abuse, but emotional and sexual abuse, as well. And, in fact,
the most common form of maltreatment is neglect.
The majority of perpetrators are female, not male (about 60% versus
40%). And the average age of the perpetrators is in the early 30s. The
vast majority of abuse comes from a parent; but caretakers, family members,
and others can also be perpetrators of abuse.
Why do people abuse children? Sometimes, parents are unaware of how
hard they strike their children when enforcing punishment, or they are
enforcing punishment that is not age-appropriate. And sometimes, although
parents are trying to be good parents, they loose control.
Oftentimes, the abuse is dealt out because parents have not learned
proper parenting skills, are immature, have a personal history of abuse,
have a mental health issue, have drug and alcohol problems, can’t
deal with family crises (including housing, economic, marital, or personal
problems), and/or any of many other reasons. The inability to deal with
stress can be a major factor.