Posts Tagged ‘ child abuse ’

Wisconsin Bill Alleges Single Moms Contribute to Child Abuse

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

A bill under consideration by the Wisconsin legislature would penalize single mothers on the grounds that their unmarried status contributes to social ills including child abuse and neglect.

The state’s Republican Senator Glenn Grothman introduced Senate Bill 507, Yahoo! Shine reports, which contains language requiring the state to amend existing state law “requiring the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.”

More from Yahoo:

The bill would require educational and public awareness campaigns held by the board to emphasize that not being married is abusive and neglectful of children, and to underscore “the role of fathers in the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect.”

Saying that people “make fun of old-fashioned families,” Grothman — who has never been married and has no children — criticized social workers for not agreeing that children should only be raised by two married biological parents, and told a state Senate committee that he hopes the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention board, of which he’s a member, could “publicize something that’s politically incorrect but has to be said in our society.”

For more analysis of this issue from, read Julia Landry’s post on Unexpectedly Expecting.

Image: Mother with sleepy baby, via Shutterstock.

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CDC: Child Abuse Costs U.S. $124 Billion Per Year

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

A single year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment–including physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and neglect–costs the U.S. government $124 in expenses ranging from health care costs to productivity loss to criminal justice and special education costs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in a new report.

The report, which was published in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect, The International Journal, also found that the lifetime costs associated with each maltreated child (if that child survives) is $210,012, which is similar to the costs associated with major health problems like stroke or type 2 diabetes.

From a CDC press release:

Past research suggests that child maltreatment is a complicated problem, and so its solutions cannot be simple. An individual parent or caregiver’s behavior is influenced by a range inter-related factors such as how they were raised, their parenting skills, the level of stress in their life, and the living conditions in their community.  Because of this complexity, it is critical to invest in effective strategies that touch on all sectors of society.

“Federal, state, and local public health agencies as well as policymakers must advance the awareness of the lifetime economic impact of child maltreatment and take immediate action with the same momentum and intensity dedicated to other high profile public health problems –in order to save lives, protect the public’s health, and save money,” said Dr. Linda C. Degutis, [director of CDC′s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control].

Several programs have demonstrated reductions in child maltreatment and have great potential to reduce the human and economic toll on our society.  Several examples of effective programs include:

  • Nurse–Family Partnership, an evidence-based community health program. Partners a registered nurse with a first-time mother during pregnancy and continues through the child’s second birthday.
  • Early Start, provides coordinated, family-centered system of services:  California’s response to federal legislation providing early intervention services to infant and toddlers with disabilities and their families.
  • Triple P, a multilevel parenting and family support system:  Aims to prevent severe emotional and behavioral disturbances in children by promoting positive and nurturing relationships between parent and child.

Image: Hundred dollar bills, via Shutterstock.

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Study: Domestic Violence Affects Kids’ Brains Similarly to Military Combat

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

A new study published this week in the journal Current Biology has found that the brains of children who are exposed to domestic violence, either perpetrated against themselves or other family members, are similar to the brains of military veterans who have witnessed traumatic combat situations.  Like soldiers, the study concludes, children who are in violent households are vulnerable to emotional disorders like depression and anxiety later in life.

Specifically, the researchers found that children from abusive families are 50 times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and 6 times more likely to commit suicide. Roughly 80 percent go on to repeat the cycle of violence in adulthood.

“This new study, while small in sample size, demonstrates that children exposed to domestic violence may have a heightened neurological reaction to anger expressed by others. This may translate into greater anxiety and mistaken social cues in key social interactions and lead to other longer-term difficulties for children,” Makers of Memories Foundation researcher Jeffrey L Edleson, a Professor in the University of Minnesota School of Social Work and Director of the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse, said in a statement.

Image: Sad young girl, via Shutterstock.

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Singer Mindy McCready Will Not Return Son, Alleges Abuse

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

The country music singer Mindy McCready has said in an email to The Associated Press that she will not return her 5-year-old son Zander to Florida despite court orders that she return the boy to his guardian, McCready’s mother.  The singer, who is pregnant with twins, alleges that her mother has abused the child since winning custody of him in 2007 while the embattled singer underwent substance abuse rehabilitation and survived an apparent suicide attempt.  The AP reported that the court’s current role is to enforce the custody arrangement, not make judgments about the status of that arrangement:

“Once the child is located, we will pick him up and bring him back to Florida,” said Terri Durdaller, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Children and Families. “Although these circumstances are unfortunate for a young child, his safety and well-being are our number one priority.”

McCready provided a series of emails to the AP with Lee County Judge James Seals’ ruling to return the boy.

“Mom has violated the court’s custody order and we are simply restoring the child back into our custody,” the judge wrote. “Nothing more. Nothing less. The court makes no judgment about whether Mom will or will not competently care for the child while in her custody. It only wants the child back where the court placed him.”

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Penn State Coach Sandusky Admits He Showered with Boys

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

In an interview with NBC’s Bob Costas Monday night, former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky admits that he showered and “horsed around” with boys as young as 10 years of age.  The 67-year-old Sandusky maintains that he is “innocent” of child sexual abuse allegations that have brought national attention and outrage to the Penn State campus, according to

In a telephone interview with NBC’s “Rock Center With Brian Williams,” Sandusky admitted that some details in the graphic 23-page grand jury report released earlier this month are correct.

“I could say I have done some of those things,” he said. “I have horsed around with kids I have showered (with) after workouts. I have hugged them, and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.”

Still, Sandusky claimed he has been falsely accused of crimes. When pressed, the 67-year-old Sandusky said the only thing he did wrong was having “showered with those kids.”

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