Goal: My goal is to make people more aware of child abuse and domestic violence. How to spot it, what to do and bring light to lesser known crimes.

Entry #1

bruised-eye-408.jpgDomestic Violence and Child Abuse

Domestic Violence is physical or emotional abuse made by one member of a relationahip to the other. Domestic violence is seen in relationships of all ages, even young teens. Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical abuse by their significant other each year in the United States. This violence has resulted in murders along with permenant disabilities and psychological damage. Many victims are too afraid to seek help. Others put fault on themselves for the situation, which isn't the cause. Reasons people abuse their partners range from abuse they recieved previously in their own lives to PTSD. There's help for all victims such as shelters and counseling centers. Domestic violence is a growing issue we can strive to decrease in the future.

Domestic vilence also leads to child abuse in many cases. Adults to were abused when then were younger are mopre likely to abuse their own children, and someone who is abusive towards a spouse is more likely to abuse a child. Children are abused at all ages from birth, and suffer tremendously without any significant ability to defend themselves. Along with domestic violense, child abuse is a rising crime we can help prevent.
Entry #2

Lawson, Tammy R.. "Recognizing child abuse and neglect: Signs and symptoms." TIMES-REPUBLICAN 1 May 2009 Web.8 May 2009. http://timesexternal image prevent_child_abuse_mag.jpg&usg=AFQjCNGBMy_z5SkAPqIiy9v0rstWHuAK8wrepublican.com/page/content.detail/id/516380.html?nav=5002.

I learned a lot about child abuse from this article. I knew that very yound children are abused, but I had no idea most victims of child abuse are under six. I also had no idea that children under 3 are most likely to be abused. These kids are so defenseless in this situation. Most of them are a high risk of being a victim because spousal abuse is also present in their home. Child abuse is also very common when a parent has a substance abuse problem or some sort of mental disorder.

Children that have been abused are affected in many different ways. Abuse ranges from neglect to murderous violence. Children can get broken bones, bruises, burns and permanent injury. They also suffer from psychological problems, and one third of abuse victims will go on to abuse their own children.

Entry #3

Schugel, James. "Child Abuse Reports Rise As Parents Hunt For Jobs." WCCO 19 March 2009 Web.11 May 2009. http://wcco.com/local/child.abuse.unemployment.2.963622.html.

external image T_1220443992child-abuse.jpg&usg=AFQjCNEuyzYw39j_DDHBpQxDo49_nTJGVwAccording to this article, there is a direct relationship between child abuse and the economy. As the economy gets worse, child abuse increases. Apparently lots of parents take out unemployment frustration on their defenseless children. I think this is absolutely absurd.

The theory is that in tough times parents are reaching the end of their rope, and instead of trying to keep it all together they take anger out on their kids through physical and emotional abuse. Had a bad interview? Hit your kid. Can't make a car payment? Give your child a kick. Where does this conclusion come from?

Losing jobs in today's economy is no picnic, but parents should be productive in this situation rather than abusive. At the very least they could teach their children a lesson about how hard you need to work as an adult. Teach them that when they grow up they want to avoid being in the same situation. If a child sees their parents working hard to get through a tough time, it sets a great example for their future. If instead they learn that when things get bad you should take your agression out on others, their future views on the world will be altered.

A majority of child abusers were once abused by their own parents. Parents have a responsibility to raise their children to be the best people they can be, which starts by setting a good example. Being abusive when angry is not something a child should learn to mimick. No matter how bad things are, kids can't be their parents punching bags.

Entry #4

Kennedy Bergen, Raquel. "Marital Rape: New Research and Directions." National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women. 28 May 2009 <http://new.vawnet.org/category/Main_Doc.php?docid=248>.

Marital Rape. This is a growing crime that receives very little attention. Some people don't even consider it a crime.

caveman.gifRape is any act of sexual intercourse that is forced. Just because it's not an action expected of husbands doesn't mean its not still illegal. This has only been viewed a crime for a few decades, and wasn't legally designated as a crime until 1993. In fact, a traditional definition of rape used to be "sexual intercourse by a man with a female not his wife without her consent." This essentially gave husbands a free pass to force their wives into sex without any legal ramifications. On July 5, 1993, marital rape became a crime in all 50 states, under at least one section of the sexual offense codes. As of May, 2005, in 20 states, the District of Columbia, and on federal lands, there are no exemptions from rape prosecution granted to husbands. However, in 30 states, there are still some exemptions given to husbands from rape prosecution. In most of these 30 states, a husband is exempt when he does not have to use force because his wife is most vulnerable (mentally or physically impaired, unconscious, asleep, etc.) and is legally unable to consent. The claim is that because of the marital contract, a wife's consent is assumed in these scenarios.

Marital rape is also very rarely reported and socially seen and a lesser rape. It's not taken as seriously or given as much attention. Studies have shown that marital rape is more common in relationships where other forms of domestic violence have also occurred.

Entry #5

"Recognizing Child Abuse and Neglect: Signs and Symptoms." Child Welfare Information Gateway. 2007. Child Welfare Information Gateway. 28 May 2009 <http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/signs.cfm>.

Child Abuse: Signs And Symptoms

There are many clues that a child is being abused. If someone sees a sign they should try and take a closer look at the relationship. If theres one clue it doesn't necessarily mean that a parent is abusing their kid, but most children are too scared to tell anyone and an outsider could save a child from an abusive situation.

The following are some signs that if noticed in a child, could be an indication they are being abused.

  • Sudden changes in behavior and/or school performance
  • Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents' attention
  • Has difficulty learning/concentrating that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes
  • Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen
  • Lacks adult supervision
  • Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn
  • Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home
There are also behaviors that when seen in an adult can be signs they are abusing their children
  • Shows little concern for the child
  • Denies the existence of—or blames the child for—the child's problems in school or at home
  • Asks teachers or other caregivers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves
  • Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome
  • Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve
  • Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs
While you can pick up on abuse from a child or parent individually, they are also keys when the two are together:
  • Rarely touch or look at each other
  • Consider their relationship entirely negative
  • State that they do not like each other
Entry #6:

"Recognizing Child Abuse and Neglect: Signs and Symptoms." Child Welfare Information Gateway. 2007. Child Welfare Information Gateway. 28 May 2009 <http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/signs.cfm>.

While child abuse can be recognized by many different signs, there are some indications of specific abuse sich as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect.
Physical Abuse
Indications by the child:
  • Unexplained burns, bites, bruises, broken bones, or black eyes
  • Fading bruises or other marks noticeable after an absence from school
  • Seems frightened of the parents
  • Protests/Cries when it is time to go home
  • Shrinks at the approach of adults
Indications by the parent/other adult caregiver:
  • Offers conflicting, unconvincing, or no explanation for the child's injury
  • Describes the child as "evil," or in some other very negative way
  • Uses harsh physical discipline with the child
  • Has a history of abuse as a child
Indications by child:
  • Frequent absences from school
  • Begs or steals food or money
  • Lacks needed medical or dental care, immunizations, or glasses
  • Is consistently dirty and has severe body odor
  • Lacks sufficient clothing for the weather
  • Abuses alcohol or other drugs
Indications by a parent/other adult caregiver:

  • Appears to be indifferent to the child
  • Seems apathetic or depressed
  • Behaves irrationally or in a bizarre manner
  • Is abusing alcohol or other drugs
Sexual Abuse
Indications by a child:
  • Has difficulty walking or sitting
  • Suddenly refuses to change for gym or to participate in physical activities
  • Reports nightmares or bedwetting
  • Experiences a sudden change in appetite
  • Demonstrates bizarre, sophisticated, or unusual sexual knowledge or behavior
  • Runs away
Indications by a parent/other adult caregiver:
  • Is unduly protective of the child or severely limits the child's contact with other children, especially of the opposite sex
  • Is secretive and isolated
  • Is jealous or controlling with family members
Emotional Maltreatment
Indications bya child:
  • Shows extremes in behavior
  • Is either inappropriately adult or inappropriately infantile
  • Is delayed in physical or emotional development
  • Has attempted suicide
  • Reports a lack of attachment to the parent
Indications by a parent/other adult caregiver:
  • Constantly blames, belittles, or berates the child
  • Is unconcerned about the child and refuses to consider offers of help for the child's problems
  • Overtly rejects the child

Entry #7

Schwarz, Eitan D. "IS IT PUNISHMENT OR CHILD ABUSE?." 2002. 3 Jun 2009 <http://www.family-focus.org/talkback/is%20it%20abuse.htm>.

While child abuse is always unacceptable, there's a gray area lots of people argue over, punishments. The line between discipline and child abuse is different for different people, especially when it comes to spanking. Lots of parents spank their children. Pairing something a child shouldn't do with pain can remind them not to repeat that action, but that doesn't mean parents can use discipline as an excuse to beat their children. There’s a big difference between a tap on a child and beating him with a heavy object.

I am personally not in favor of spanking. My parents never spanked me and they weren't spanked. However, I see how some parents can argue for it in certain situations. But I think that way to many parents get away with abuse because they use punishing their children as an excuse. In my opinion a parent shouldn't lay their hands on their child in a physically violent way in any case.

Entry #8

There's lots of information on how to prevent and spot abuse, but what should you do when it happens?

external image Womens_Shelter_001.gif

Child abuse suspixisinos should be reported to local authorities who can investigate. Most children are defenseless and their only chance may be an anonymous tip.

If you are in an abusive relationship you need to get out of it. Many people blame themselves for being abused. "I made him upset" "I shouldn't have done that" and "He didn't mean it, it won't happen again." are all common excuses made by abuse victims. Abuse in any form is unacceptable and not part of a healthy relatinship. The best thing to do is end the relationship whether that mean a break-up or a divorce, and to separate yourself from the abuser. If you are afraid that ending the relationship could result in a violent reaction by the abuser or have nowhere to go there are shelters for victims throughout our country. They can help anyone escape from their abuser and get back on their feet.


Principal Author:
Alyssa Nash
Bill No:

Title of Bill:
Marital Rape and Sexual Abuse Act

Be It Enacted By The United States Congress


Preamble: Whereas our government doesn’t classify marital rape as a serious crime in 30 states, and people in a violent relationship aren’t able to prevent spousal sexual abuse.

SECTION 1: Let rape be defined for all to understand
Sub-SECTION A: Rape is
any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person

SECTION 2: Any form of rape can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law

SECTION 3: Any person can be charged with rape no matter their relationship to the victim
Sub-SECTION A: Being married to someone doesn’t excuse the fact that someone has the right to their own body and to refuse sexual intercourse.

SECTION 4: This bill shall go into effect 95 days after passage.