Could Child Abuse Cause Cancer?

There’s no question that for many children, being abused increases their risk of anxiety, depression, academic and behavioral problems, and other mental health issues. But a researcher at Purdue University (in Indiana) just found an unexpected link between child abuse and cancer. Kenneth Ferraro, a sociologist at Purdue’s Center on Aging and the Life Course, and his colleagues found that frequent abuse by a parent increased a child’s risk of developing cancer as an adult.
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Another argument for the notion that parents should be licensed

Jackie Farah of Bowling Green, KY, left 19 children—aged 8 months to 14 years—alone and unsupervised for a week. Without food or air conditioning. Farah was arrested and charged with criminal abuse (14 counts) and wanton endangerment (5 counts). Jackie’s husband and the father of some of the children (no one is sure how many or which kids, exactly, belong to which parent), Joe Smith.

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Bad adult behavior: apparently it’s contagious

Back in grade school I was a regular in the principal’s office–probably got sent there at least once a week. And more often than not, the principal would lean me over the desk and paddle my butt with a large wooden racquet. Those were different times (I guess) and most people would agree that a principal hitting a child with a paddle is child abuse.

So what is it when a teacher and teacher’s aid at a Houston school lock 3- and 4-year old children in a dark closet for acting up in class (in one case, the punishment was for laughing in class)? And not just any closet. Apparently these clever educators told the kids that there was a monster in the closet.

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An important reality check about kidnapping

Amber alerts pop up on freeway signs and interrupt radio and television programming. We hear about Polly Klaas, Adam Walsh, and other children who were kidnapped and murdered. Now it’s Isabel Celis in Tucson, Arizona. Child advocacy groups start talking about the hundreds of thousands of children (usually they cite “every 40 seconds”) who go missing every year, the media runs with the story–often adding in something about how the number is growing–and parents around the country panic.

There is no question that every single missing child is a horrible tragedy, but the numbers and pseudo statistics that get thrown around do more harm than good.

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Fatherhood Educational Institute Recognizes Father Factor During National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Fatherhood Educational Institute (http://fatherhood-edu.org) encourages responsible fatherhood in the prevention of child abuse not just in April, but in every month.

Research demonstrates that father absence is associated with higher rates of child abuse and neglect. Boyfriends of the mother in single-mother households were responsible for 67% of the reported cases of child abuse. In cases of child sexual abuse the majority of children lived in disrupted or single-parent homes. 27% of abused children live with either a stepfather or the mother’s boyfriend. In addition, children who live in father-absent homes are at 77% greater risk of being physically abused and 120% more likely to be endangered by maltreatment.

Click here for the rest of the press release.

Hurt my child, and you’ll get exactly what you deserve

Just saw an infuriating headline: “Accused Child Rapist Fears Abuse in Prison.” The article then explains that the defendant, Edward Dean, tearfully told the judge that he’s “terrified” of serving time in state prison. Dean is facing six counts of child rape in state court and a similar number of federal charges (all just as repugnant as the state charges).

Call me crazy, but the idea that someone who preys on children would be afraid of going to prison is laughable. Just writing this I can feel my pulse starting to race. If one of my kids had been a victim, I’m quite sure that Mr. Dean would be a lot safer in prison than in a place where I could get to him. And I know I’m not alone in that.