CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

November 7, 2008

CHILD ABUSE DEFINITIONS


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

CHILD ABUSE DEFINITIONS

 

     When I was director of a Children’s Trust Fund program in a former community, I discovered that my enthusiastic board members had no idea how to define “abuse.” I think this is a common situation, and not unique to this community.
     The term “child abuse” can be defined on several different levels. The LEGAL definition of abuse is provided by the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Act (if you live in a different state, the definition may differ) defines “child” as anyone under the age of 18. “Family or household members” include “spouses, persons living as spouses, parents, and children, or any other persons related by consanguity or affinity.”
     To involve Child Welfare, abuse cases must occur “between family or household members who reside together, or who formerly resided together, and both parties continue to have legal access to the residence.”
     One or more of he following situations must occur to involve Child Welfare in an abuse case. First, an attempt “to cause, or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly” cause “bodily injury with or without a dangerous weapon.”
     Second, the “placing by physical menace another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.”
     Third, sexual abuse must occur as defined in the Child Protective Services Law.
     Child abuse incidents not falling within the definition above are considered criminal cases, which are dealt with through the State Police.

     Webster’s DICTIONARY defines abuse as “to use wrongly or improperly, to maltreat,” (treat badly).

     BIBLICALLY, two Ephesians scriptures instruct fathers “not to provoke your children to wrath…” (6:4) and to “let no evil talk come out of your mouths (4:29). Biblically pushing a child to “wrath,” through the use of violent anger, and verbally hurting the child are abusive behaviors.
     Parents can and must direct and discipline their children. This may anger the child like we become angry with someone who corrects us. Eventually, however, appropriate discipline will strengthen both us and our relationships.
     Wrath, however, is violent anger, rage, fury caused by inappropriate discipline styles that leave a child feeling worthless and inhuman.  Wrath results from physically or verbally “killing off” parts of a child through attitudes, verbal putdowns, or physical “attack”
     Crossing the line between appropriate discipline and the release of adult anger onto the child (anger stemming from the adult’s own insecurities) creates wrath.
     If a child shows wrath, ask “Why?” Chances are, the discipline can be changed, correcting the child but leaving him/her their self-respect.

QUESTION: Where in the Bible do you find the oft quoted scripture, “Spare the rod and spoil the child?” (See answer below.)

     ETHICALLY, abuse occurs when a child is asked to fill adult needs that should be met by other adults. This is seen with parents who discuss adult matters with a child—for example, a divorced parent discussing their date-life with the child, and seeking a response. Child sexual abuse is the result of an adult trying to meet needs with a child when he/she should be relating to another adult.

AND ANSWER: Nowhere. It is commonly thought that this proverb is from Scripture. However, it comes from a 1664 poem, Hudibras, by Samuel Butler. (DID YOU KNOW THE ANSWER?)

     If you want to add something to these definitions, or if you want to add a definition, I invite you to do so in the comment box below.

ADDITIONAL READING ON CHILD ABUSE:

WILL YOU LOVE ME TO DEATH?

SHOULD INFORMATION ON AN ALLEGED CHILD ABUSER BE PUBLICIZED?

DRESSING FOR BLESSING: GOD AND FASHION Part 1

BUTLER STREET

BEYOND THE ROCK

THOUGHTS FOR DAVID

REACH OUT

A PIECE OF ME

THE WELL-ADJUSTED CHILD

CHILD ABUSE AND SCRIPTURE

CHILDREN LEFT HOME ALONE (or in cars alone)

ANOTHER HORRIFYING HEADLINE

DOES EXAGGERATING THE TRUTH CREATE GOOD STORIES?

KILLED STRANGELY: A NEW ENGLAND MURDER STORY

Advertisements

1 Comment »

  1. You’re correct with the “spare the rod spoil the child” info but it is important to note that Proverbs 13:24 says “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Thank you for your hard work.

    IN HIM,
    DC

    Comment by Dave Coryell — June 9, 2010 @ 12:44 pm | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

What is your opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: