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Samantha Wardell Criminal Justice Critical Thinking Assignment 3/26/14 Child Abuse Doing research on child abuse and

the laws in Utah was a long process and I learned so many new things that I never knew about this issue before. I had an interview with Michelle Langerson from San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center and she told me about a typical day of work and I learned a lot of interesting things about working here. She says there is hardly ever a silent moment because the phones are always ringing from people calling with anonymous tips about incidents of child abuse occurring or parents who want advice on parenting, and sometimes they even get calls that dont pertain to children or abuse at all. She couldnt give me real specific details or tell me any stories of calls that have come in, but I learned a lot by talking to her. While looking on the San Francisco Prevention Center (SFCAPC) website, I learned a lot of interesting facts about how serious child abuse really is. Just to name a few, 22% of abuse kids have learning disorders and require special education. 27% of kids who are abused or neglected become delinquents compared to 17% of kids in the general population. 4+ children are dying each day due to child abuse or neglect with more than half of those kids being under the age of 3. They have done studies and researched all this information for a long time before coming up with these stats, so I believe they are a great source for information. When looking into child abuse further, I learned that there are tons of long term effects that abuse has on children. Some of which are listen above, but the list is much bigger than that. Child abuse and neglect causes learning disorders, trouble solving problems, they are more likely

to become suicidal, more likely to have heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, and liver disease, twice as likely to become alcoholics, and three times more likely to have a drug addiction, it can stunt their brain growth from having post-traumatic stress disorder when young, increases their risks for getting an STI, reduces immunity, 80% of 21 year olds who were abused as kids met the criteria for at least one psychological disorder, more likely to have a teen pregnancy, and they have a shorter life span.(SFCAPC). This doesnt just go for severe abuse either, it can be something as small as spanking your child. If you spank your child at age 3 they become 50% more likely to be aggressive by age 5 than children who were not spanked. It also effects their cognitive thinking, leads children to believe that violence and aggression is the right way to solve a problem, it slows down their social skills and lowers their problem solving and reasoning skills, and they will become defiant. I never knew spanking caused so many long term effects, but every source I researched gave me the same data. Although abuse and spanking may work for a short term effect to get your child to stop what they are doing and behave right in that moment, over all it hurts your child a whole lot more than you would have ever realized. I learn something new every time I do more research on my topic and I would have never thought there would be so much to learn about child abuse. It is a very interesting issue that I connect with a lot from working with children each day being a nanny, and from my niece and nephews who are a huge part of my life, and even my future career being a respiratory therapist for children. I enjoy researching it and learning something new each time I research something on the issue. I really hope to one day make a difference in these childrens lives and come up with a way to stop child abuse. Another good source I found that really stood out to me was a guy by the name of Peter Gerlach and his lesson 6 of his Break The Cycle blog. He talks about effects of child discipline

and gives you 6 long term goals of effective discipline. I really like how he laid everything out and I liked the points that he made in this lesson. The six goals he gives you are to teach, to enhance, to help, to protect, to model, and to show. He wants you to teach your kids that their actions have consequences and they are going to be responsible for their actions. He wants you to help keep order and security in the home and in the family. He wants to enhance the mutual respect throughout the family. He wants you to protect your children from harm. He wants you to model how parents should love, protect, and care for their children. And last, he wants you to show your children that people have limits and teach them what happens when you push these limits. These goals are very useful and I think that it would really help cut out abuse from parents if they followed these goals. His whole lesson is full of great parenting tips and ways to improve your relationship with your children. It will enhance you childrens actions and attitude and promote good behavior by taking his advice and following his 6 goals and his parenting guidelines that are also on his blog. No child deserves to be abuse so do your part as a parent and use effective disciplinary methods. If you need help read Gerlachs lesson 6 on effective child discipline and watch his videos on YouTube. Discipline is important to help a child become independent. By following their parents rules and with their parents by their side, teaching them right from wrong, they will become respectful and well-behaved when they get older. If you abuse or punish them rather than discipline them though, the outcome will be opposite. There actually are a lot of laws in Utah against child abuse that range from sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence, pornography and internet crimes, and other child related offences.

SEXUAL ABUSE First Degree Felonies: Rape of a Child, Object Rape of a Child, Forcible Sodomy, Sodomy on a Child, Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child, Aggravated Sexual Assault Second Degree Felonies: Forcible Sexual Abuse, Sexual Abuse of a Child Third Degree Felonies: Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor, Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a 16 or 17 Year old, Incest Class A Misdemeanors: Sexual Abuse of a Minor, Sexual Battery, Lewdness Involving a Child Class B Misdemeanors: Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor (Christensen)

PHYSICAL CHILD ABUSE First Degree Felonies: Endangerment of a Child Second Degree Felonies: Endangerment of a Child, Child Abuse Homicide, Child Abuse Third degree Felonies: Endangerment of a Child, Child Abuse, Child Abuse Homicide Class A Misdemeanors: Child Abuse Class B Misdemeanors: Child Abuse Class C Misdemeanors: Child Abuse (Christensen)

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Second Degree Felonies: Stalking Third Degree Felonies: Stalking, Child Abuse (Commission of Domestic Violence in the Presence of a Child)

Class A Misdemeanors: Stalking ,Child Abuse (Commission of Domestic Violence in the Presence of a Child), Protective Orders Restraining Abuse of another violation (Christensen)

PORNOGRAPHY AND INTERNET CRIMES Second Degree Felony: Enticement of a Minor, Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Dealing in Material Harmful to a Minor Third Degree Felonies: Dealing in Material Harmful to a Minor Class A Misdemeanors: Enticement of a Minor Class B Misdemeanors: Enticement of a Minor Class C Misdemeanors: Enticement of a Minor (Christensen)

OTHER CHILD RELATED OFFENSES First Degree Felonies: Child Kidnapping, Aggravated Kidnapping Second Degree Felonies: Kidnapping Third Degree Felonies: Custodial Interference Class A Misdemeanors: Custodial Interference, Unlawful Sale or Supply (of alcohol) to Minors, Providing Cigars, Cigarettes, or Tobacco to Minors Class B Misdemeanors: Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor ,Providing Cigars, Cigarettes, or Tobacco to Minors Class C Misdemeanors: Providing Cigars, Cigarettes, or Tobacco to Minors (Chirstensen)

I dont necessarily agree with all these laws and what they are categorized under. I think a lot of the misdemeanors should be felonies because I think child abuse is unacceptable. I think the courts are being too easy on these offenders by giving them misdemeanors for a lot of these

crimes, especially with all the long term effects these offenders abuse are putting on these children. There is so much psychological damage alone done to these kids after they have been abused, its hard to move past that. No parent is perfect and every parent is different so just give it your all and do the best you can and you will be better than okay. Do what you think is best for the child and never make them settle for less than the amount of love and compassion they deserve. No child deserves to be abuse in any way.

Sources
"Child Abuse and Prevention." San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center. SFCAPC, n.d. Web. 10 Mar 2014. <http://www.sfcapc.org/press_room/information_about_child_abuse_and_prevention?gclid=C LPI1fPOwLwCFdeUfgodkX4AOA>. Peter, Gerlach. "Effective Discipline." Break The Cycle. N.p., 24 Nov 2013. Web. 10 Mar 2014. <http://sfhelp.org/parent/discipline.htm>. Tracy, Christensen. "Utah Child Abuse Laws." Salt Lake County. Salt Lake County Childrens Justice Center, n.d. Web. 11 Mar 2014. <http://www.slco.org/youth/pdf/2003statutesreferenceguide.pdf>.