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The National Crime Survey

The National Crime Survey shows that in 1987 children in the twelve to fifteen age group suffered a rate of victimization, exceeded only by that of people aged sixteen to twenty-four ( Whitcomb 431). Another form of child abuse is incest. Incest can be described as sexual acts between two people who are so closely related that the law forbids them to marry. In a great majority of incest cases, the victim is a female. Her assailant is usually a male adult, uncle, cousin, or brother. Some studies have shown that 40 percent of all women who use drugs have incest in their past (Giovannoni 4 ).

Abuse does not just mean that the child is likely to become an abusive parent. There is another great danger. Studies show that abused children have a habit of getting into trouble with the law (Conte 42). There are no statutes that clearly distinct between what is and what is not considered to be child abuse and neglect. Therefore, police and other public officials must take each case separately into consideration. Some people believe it is better for an abused child to be placed in foster care.

Yet, foster care, in some cases, may be more harmful to the childs health. Despite a department policy that says children should not be put in homes with more than six children, sixteen percent are(Giovannoni 25). One fourth of all abused children in foster care return to their parents. It has been estimated that some ten thousand children are severely battered every year, fifty to seventy-five thousand are sexually abused, one hundred thousand are emotionally neglected, and another one hundred thousand are physically, morally, or educationally neglected.

It only takes a quick scan of the headlines to see that sex offenders come in a variety of shapes and sizes principals, teachers, coaches, doctors, lawyers, scout leaders, ministers, priests, neighbors, relatives the butcher, and the banker. Every child is vulnerable to abuse. Todays parents must face the possibility that someone may hurt or take advantage of their child. Research indicates that as many as one out of every four children will be the victim of some type of abuse (Daro 87).

In order to highlight the problems of determining what is abuse and neglect here is an example of some cases. A three year old in Tennessee was forced by her stepfather to walk for three days and three nights, until she died of exhaustion. A seven year old in California was locked in a room and tied to a chair by her parents for her whole life: when she was found she weighed only 59 pounds and was only 33 inches tall and unable to walk.

An infant sustained permanent damage from maggots in her ears, maggots that swarmed over the feces-laden rags on which she lay (Giovannoni 28). Victims of domestic violence and child abuse need support from others. They should confide in someone they trust and seek the help of police and domestic violence programs. This way both victims are protected. However, the abused can only be helped if they make others aware of the problem.

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