Child Abuse

By Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

Child Abuse Quick Fact-Sheet:
  • California’s new 2014 law, AB1775, requires psychotherapists to report if a patient has knowingly downloaded, streamed, or even simply accessed (that is, viewed) an electronic or digital image in which anyone under 18 “is engaged in an act of obscene sexual conduct.” That’s any image that lacks “scientific, literary, artistic, or political” value. More details and critique of this law
  • More than 2.5 million cases of child abuse and neglect are reported each year.
  • Of these, 35 percent involve physical abuse, 15 percent involve sexual abuse and 50 percent involve neglect.
  • One in four girls and one in eight boys will be sexually abused before they are 18 years old.
  • About one in 20 children is physically abused each year.
  • Child neglect can include physical neglect (withholding food, clothing, shelter or other physical necessities), emotional neglect (withholding love, comfort or affection) or medical neglect (withholding needed medical care).
  • Unlike the commonly held belief, not all abuse victims have severe reactions or display dysfunction as adults. Usually, the younger the child, the longer the abuse continues and the closer the child’s relationship with the abuser, the more serious the emotional damage will be.
  • The immediate effects of shaking a baby, which is a common form of child abuse in infants, can include vomiting, concussion, respiratory distress, seizures and death. Long-term consequences can include blindness, learning disabilities, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy or paralysis.
  • Child abuse and neglect have been shown, in some cases, to cause important regions of the brain to fail to form properly, resulting in impaired physical, mental and emotional development. In other cases, the stress of chronic abuse causes a “hyperarousal” response by certain areas of the brain, which may result in hyperactivity, sleep disturbances and anxiety, as well as increased vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder and learning and memory difficulties.
  • A study of 700 children, who had been in foster care for 1 year, found that more than one-quarter of the children had some kind of recurring physical or mental health problem (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003).
  • A National Institute of Justice study indicated that being abused or neglected as a child increased the likelihood of arrest as a juvenile by 59 percent. Abuse and neglect increased the likelihood of adult criminal behavior by 28 percent and violent crime by 30 percent.
  • Update on California Child Abuse and Reporting Act. (CANRA)
The online Child Abuse (7 CE credit) course will:
  • Present statistics, demographics and prevalence of child abuse.
  • Provide facts and dispel myths regarding offender and victim traits, characteristics and dynamics.
  • Present the signs and sequelae of sexual abuse and identify the consequences and effects of child abuse.
  • Identify effective assessment, investigation and interventions.
  • Present the laws for reporting child abuse in different states and provide a list of resources for clients, the general public and clinicians.

See our 7 CE credit online course:
Child Abuse (fulfills Child Abuse Requirement)
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