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Bruises Scratches will heal with time, but they are other damaging effects of child abuse that will leave a person scared for life. As this Pediatrician says "Each week, child protective services (CPS) agencies throughout the United States receive more than 50,000 reports of suspected child abuse." (Lanneli Vincent) The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) provide standards for defining physical, neglect, and sexual abuse that every state must incorporate in their statutory definitions to receive federal funds. However, each state is responsible for its own definition of child mistreatment with its civil and criminal context. "More than half of all victim were White, 51%; 28% were African American; 18% were Hispanic; 2 % were American Indian/Alaska Natives; and 1% were Asian/Pacific Islanders."(National Exchange Club Foundation)The problem of child abuse is subject to state laws. For example, there are more than fifteen states inconclusive, or heading in the wrong direction with Jessica Lunsford Act; a law that protect children from sexual predators. Sexual abuse is a problem that can affect all the members of a community. On the other hand, kids will be kids. Children will do things that can make their parents mad and frustrated, but children should not be disciplined through violence. There is no a single known cause of child abuse. The most common factors that why people abuse children are parental, emotional, and environmental factors.

"Parents who were abused as children are more likely than other parents to abuse their own children."(Gerdes I. Louise) A parent's childhood history is an important part in how they behave as parents. Those parents with poor parental role models may find it very difficult to meet the needs of their own children. As a consequence, it increases cases of immaturity of the parents as in the case of teenage parents. Children of teenagers can become easily victims of child abuse simply because their parents are young to understand child behaviors, and they just want to have fun because they are still kids themselves. However, there are people who have not been abused as children who become abusive as well as people who have been abused as children and do not abuse of their own children. Another risk factor is the substance abuse by the parents. Parental substance abuse can affect the parental mental functioning and protective capacity. Parents affected by the use of drugs and alcohol can neglect the needs of their children, spend their all money on drugs, and get involved in criminal activities that put in danger the children's safety and custody of the parents. "Alcohol and drugs have blown away the topsoil of family life and reshaped the landscape of child abuse and neglect in America." (Grapes J. Bryan)

In addition to parental factors, emotional factors such as marital conflict, divorce, and stress contribute to child abuse and the negative patterns of family functioning. Children in violent homes can observe parental violence, and may be victims of physical abuse by parents who are focused in their partners or relationships. A child who watches parental violence is a risk for also being maltreated, but, even if the child is not maltreated, he or she can experience harmful emotional consequences from watching the fight between his or her parents. "Certain types of families have an increased risk of child abuse and neglect. However, single-parent families usually earn less money than other families, so this may account for the increased risk of abuse."(Family Resource Center) Also, it is not only strangers who abuse of children. Sexual abusers include parents, grandparents, stepparents, family friends, or any adult close to the child like clergyman, coaches, and neighbors. However, it is impossible to determine how extensive child sexual abuse is. In addition, specific stressful situations such as unemployment, physical or mental illness, or the death of a family member can make worse some characteristics of the family member



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