“Abuse is the violation of a human’s rights by any other person/persons. Abuse is can intentional, but sometimes abuse can happen because somebody does not know how to act correctly.”
There are 4 main types of abuse. These are:
“Physical abuse consists of anything one person does to another that causes physical pain”
Physical abuse consists of:
- Throwing objects at another person
- Assaulting someone with an object
The indicators of physical abuse include:
- Black eyes
- Knocked out teeth
- Broken bones
- Internal organ injuries
- Brain concussions
- Poor hygiene
The behavioural indicator for physical abuse consists of:
- Low self-esteem
- Developmental delay
- Reluctance to go home
“Emotional abuse allows one person to gain power and control over another through words and gestures which gradually undermine the other’s self respect.”
Emotional abuse is more difficult to spot because it does not have as many physical aspects to it as physical abuse. However, the change in a person’s behaviour when they are being emotionally abused is very recognisable.
The behavioural indicator for emotional abuse consists of:
- Making threats
- Degrading insults
- Destructive criticism
- Not listening
- Withholding affection
- Depression or Anxiety
- Increased isolation from friends and family
- Fearful or agitated behaviour
- Lower self-esteem and self-confidence
- Addiction to alcohol or drugs
- Escapist behaviour
Sexual abuse: “Sexual abuse is when a child or young person is pressurised, forced or tricked into taking part in any kind of sexual activity with an adult or young person.” Sexual abuse consists of:
- Touching the young person's genitals/breasts
- Oral sex
The indicators of sexual abuse include:
- Oral cavity
- Oral gonorrhoea
- Period gonorrhoea
- Bite marks
The behavioural indicator for sexual abuse consists of:
- Very affectionate
- Inappropriate language for the child's age
- Chronic itching/pain in the genitals/venereal diseases
- Suicide attempts
- Running away
- Reduce to younger behaviour
- Can’t concentrate
- Lack of trust or fear of someone they know well
- Become worried about clothing being removed
- Suddenly drawing sexually explicit pictures
- Overreacting to criticism
This is a preview of the whole essay
“Neglect is when parents or carers (often intentionally) fail to provide food, warmth, safety from harm, or other basic needs for child/children.”
Neglecting abuse consists of:
- fail to provide food
- “ “ “ warmth
- “ “ “ safety from harm
- “ “ “ other basic needs
The indicators of neglecting abuse include:
- Bad hygiene
- ILL - tooth decay and scurvy
- Frequency absent from school
- Begs/steals food
- Consistently dirty
- Severe body odour
The behavioural indicator for neglecting abuse consists of:
- Can’t concentrate
- Lack of trust or fear
- Trouble regulating emotions
- Feelings of worthlessness ect.
- Running away
The five theoretical models of child abuse
There are many different types of child abuse and many different reasons why it may occur but most cases have been wilted down to fit into one of the four theories and models of why child abuse happens. These are the medical theory (with the attachment theory), the feminist theory, the sociological theory, the psychological theory and the contextual model which I am not going to use because it contrasts all the other theoretical models and, in my opinion, is too complex to explain.
The first theory is the medical theory. The main point of the medical theory of child abuse is that abuse is seen as a disease and an illness. The initiator of this theory is C Henry Kempe. Kempe was an american paediatrician who founded the child protection scheme in Colorado. He and his colleagues indentified the 'battered child syndrome', called as such because it directly relates to the required medical attention of the child. Kempe stated that there were four specific signs and symptoms of abuse, also known as 'Kempe's four factors of abuse'. A quote from a book by Ruth S and C. Henry Kempe explains the four factors of abuse. “Child abuse occurs in the presence of four factors. We have just examined three: (1) the parents must have a background of emotional or physical deprivation and perhaps abuse as well; (2) a child must be seen as unlovable or disappointing; (3) there must be a crisis. The fourth factor is that no effective ‘lifeline,’ or line of communication to sources of aid, exists at the moment of crisis.” The medical theory is important for us to understand, because it helps us understand more about the physical effects of abuse that is visible to the eye. However to understand the medical theory fully we have to also look at the attachment theory. The attachment theory is about the psychological tendency to seek closeness to another person, to feel secure when that person is present, and to feel anxious when that person is absent.
The medical theory is closely linked with the attachment theory. John Bowlby, who came up with the theory, linked to Kempe’s because of emotional, behavioural, mental-health and abusing problems, which children had after being abused, for a long period of time. Bowlby linked his theory to Kempe’s theory because he looked at the long-term effects on the development of children who had been separated from their parents. This gave them the result of abuse and neglect.
In contrast to the medical theory is the feminist theory, because it only explains about the sexual side of abuse from a woman’s point of view: a woman called Beatrix Campbell. Beatrix Campbell was a British campaigning journalist and author and considered herself a communist feminist. She did a lot of work on the Cleveland case which was very male-dominated. Now, the Cleveland case was “a child abuse scandal occurred in in 1987, where 121 cases of suspected child sexual abuse were diagnosed by Dr Marietta Higgs and Dr Geoffrey Wyatt, at a hospital (in the now abolished county of Cleveland). After a number of court cases, 26 children from twelve families were found by judges to have been wrongly diagnosed, and cases involving 96 of the 121 children alleged to be victims of sexual abuse were dismissed by the courts. In the other cases, the child was subject to a child protection order, and some were removed from their parents' care permanently” Beatrix Campbell’s response to the Cleveland case in 1987 was “insisting that the paediatricians and social workers were 'right' despite the findings of the Butler Sloss enquiry and then moves on to posit what appears to be a convoluted political ideology of endemic sexual abuse linked to male-dominated, right-wing family structures which are protected by the police and the judiciary at the expense of the victims, the children” The feminist theory helps us to understand child abuse (especially sexual abuse) from a woman’s point of view. This can then help us to research more into the reasons why sexual abuse happens.
Conversely, the psychological theory is about the way a family functions and how society functions, and how it inputs into child abuse. This contrasts to the feminist theory by being from more than one point of view from both male and female.
The psychological theory focuses on how the family functions in the society around the child and parents. This theory explains that child abuse is caused by family dysfunctions where relationships break apart - not only the relationship between the parents but also the relationships between the father and daughter/ son or the mother and son/ daughter. The theory suggests that with the right support and therapy, relationships that have broken down can be salvaged and that child abuse in these situations can be prevented. and wrote a book called ‘The psychological theory of child abuse’; which tells us how it helped research another cause for child abuse. “A detailed study of two patients hospitalized in a closed psychiatric unit on which the treatment program emphasized dynamically oriented individual psychotherapy and family therapy. The first patient was hospitalized following physical abuse of her four-year-old daughter, while the second was hospitalized for a postpartum depression eight weeks following the birth of her first child, a girl. Although the presenting pictures in these two patients were markedly different, the psychodynamic patterns were so similar that a detailed comparison of the two cases seems to offer useful insight into some of the psychological causes of child abuse”. The psychological theory is important for us to understand because it helps us to develop more information on how society and family structures work. This can then help us to understand and develop more reasons of why family members abuse their children or one another.
In addition to the psychological theory, the sociological theory is vey similar because they both speak from the same point of view. The psychological theory looks at both the family and society whereas the sociological theory only looks at the society influence has on a person that causes abuse for a child.
The sociological theory is mainly focuses on the environment around a person and how society is responsible for child abuse. Nigel Parton did argue that changes within society influence the functions of the family. Illness, poverty and unemployment were all reasons why people went on to abuse children. However Donileen R. Loseke wrote in her book ‘through a sociological Lens’ that child abuse depends on not what state the society you live in is like, but the area of family and friends in which you live in. It is important to mention the sociological theory because it brings in understanding from outside our minds that we may have never known.
In conclusion there are many people who debate that only one of these theories are important but, in my opinion, they are all as important as one another. People think that only one theory is important, this is because they only see one or two types of abuse. Then we assume that this is the most important type of abuse and need to do everything possible to stop it. However, all are important because they combine to give us a more precise view of child abuse in today’s society.
Overall, the theories and models that we have looked at bring a different element of understanding to abuse and a sense of realising when, where and how abuse happens. Therefore all the theories are useful in evaluating and furthering the knowledge and investigation into the realms of child abuse.
Physical Abuse -
Definition of Abuse -
Sexual Abuse -
Emotional Abuse -
Psychological theory -
Feminist theory -
Sociological theory -