Module 7 Reflection

Child Abuse

What is child abuse (behaviors/types)?

Child abuse is any act or failure to act that results in the harm of a child. Abuse is usually a pattern and the "failure to act" is on the part of a parent, caretaker, or adult.

There are four types of child abuse:

  1. Physical: any physical harm

  2. Sexual: non-touching, touching, penetration, non-penetration, exposure; any sexual act performed with or on a child

  3. Emotional: put downs, threats, etc.; this type of abuse is less visible

  4. Neglect: failure to act (food, medical, shelter)

What are ACEs? What is the prevalence of ACEs across gender, race, and other subpopulations in the U.S.?

ACE stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences. According to the CDC website, ACEs are quite common. "About 61% of adults surveyed across 25 states reported they had experienced at least one type of ACE before age 18, and nearly 1 in 6 reported they had experienced four or more types of ACEs," (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). Women and marginalized groups have a greater risk of ACEs. I attribute this to the intersectionality of poverty, race, environment, and high prevalence of violence in low-income areas.

What are the impacts of child abuse, ACEs, and trauma?

There are lifetime impacts of child abuse, ACEs, and trauma (which can all be linked together). Not only are there lasting emotional and mental health issues caused by these three things (or a combination of them), but your DNA can literally change. This leads to higher chances for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses. A person's life expectancy can also be shortened.

What is child exploitation? What are some examples of how trafficking can originate from families?

Child exploitation is the use of persons under 18 years old for forms of sexual activities, forced labor or services. Child exploitation is considered a form of slavery. Sometimes families sell their children into prostitution or sex trafficking. In other cases, a family member may start off by sexually abusing a child and then start to "share" that child with other people either with contact sexual abuse or by making videos and selling those.

Reflect on your learning experience for this module

I'm learning about ACEs in my Trauma and Crisis Intervention class. When I first learned about them at the beginning of the semester, I was amazed by the theory. I score a 6 on the ACE quiz if I look at my life up to age 18. That score could explain my childhood illnesses and my heart disease (I was diagnosed with CHF at 35 and had congestive heart failure a second time at age 39). I won't know the answer to this, but I'm interested in learning all I can about it. I think about former students (I taught elementary all the way up to high school in my 16-year career as an educator). I think about my students and their adverse situations and environments. I think of all the kids who seemed like they had ADHD. I now have a different take on these behaviors. These students were products of their home life and environment and the behaviors could have been a warning sign. I'm hoping Dr. Burke-Harris's research spreads like she hopes, and ACE scores help begin treatment at a younger age.

I enjoyed the videos. The human trafficking videos were sad, but they all provided a different story. We hear about human trafficking in the media, and it has become a little bit politicized in the last year. It was good to hear from survivors to know the actual range of stories that exist. I enjoyed making the graphic. I've already said I love making things in Canva. This module had a lot of reading like the last one, but I enjoyed the content.

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