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“Child abuse is a shadow the length of a lifetime”, those wise words spoken by Herbert Ward. Most people are unaware of much and how many are affected by child abuse. Child abuse is an extensive issue that takes a toll on our society. Abusing a child can affect our society by taking money from the innocent taxpayers and/or affect their day to day lives. Child protective services can be brought into lives of an abused child which can bring forth a strand of negative consequences such as an increase in medical cost for the child. Of course we cannot forget about those who decide to commit these acts of harassment, the abuser. Once these individuals are placed in jail, the taxpayers’ pockets are what supports them.
In the U.S. alone more than 690,000 children have spent time in foster care. Children commonly remain in foster care for nearly two years however, six out of every one hundred kids spend five or more years in foster care (Children’s Rights.org). Child protective services are just one way that child abuse affects society. Being in foster care, children are given Medicaid to help with their medical bills and checkups. The money that is used for Medicaid is money form the taxpayers’ wallets. The Medicaid that American citizens pay for, helps cover things such as: inpatient hospital services, physician services, checkups, and many more needs the patient may need.
Once a child is put into child protective services, foster parents are inserted into the lives of the children. Being a foster parent is a great thing, but this is just another thing that takes form our society. When a foster parent fosters a child they are given money to help support the child. The money that is given to the foster parent is tax free money which means that taxpayers pay for them to have money that does not have taxes withdrawn. This tax law allows individuals who receive foster care payments to exclude them from gross income. If you receive foster care payments from a child placement agency, the state government, or your local government, the payments are nontaxable income. The reasoning here is that the money is for the support of the foster child, and is not just going into your pocket, the way other income would (1040.com). Though child protective services are a must in our society today the money that goes into the program takes from our own pockets.
WIC (Women, Infants and, Children) for the foster families come out of our taxes and causes our taxes to become higher each year. WIC is full of money that is taken form hard working taxpayers. The effects of child protective services weigh down on the community and play a part in the lives of those who are not directly linked to child abuse. WIC is used to help women, infants, and children get the nutrition they need to be healthy. Due to WIC being federal funded, the money that goes into WIC affects all the way from federal to local taxes.
Medical cost when it comes to child abuse is something that is known to be needed. If the child going to the hospital has insurance such as Medicaid, taxpayers are paying for them to be insured, but what about those who don’t have Medicaid? According to Vox.Com “3.6 million children were uninsured in 2016 and in 2017 the amount of uninsured children rose to 3.9 million children.” All of those 3.9 million children need medical care sometime in their life, but how? Victims of child abuse just like those who are not victims go to the hospitals’ and get medical attention with no way to pay. The hospital must get paid whether the patients pay or not, hence the money being taken for the taxpayers.
Children who are abuse suffer a lot of medical need whether it is physical, mental, or emotional abuse. Regardless of the type of abuse, some children needs to be taken to the ER, but what if they do not have the money to pay to see the doctor? ER doctors will not turn someone away because of their lack of funds. John Hopkins.com asserts that “ER visits can cost you as much as one of your mortgage payment or even a car note.” If you do not have health insurance, an ER visit can cost anywhere from “$150-$3,000 depending on the severities of your injuries or illness” (The Balance. Com). Taxpayers pay thousands of dollars in taxes that go to issues like ER visits for abused children. Those who pay their taxes have no choice but to pay for these situations at hand. Children who are in abusive homes often times acquire broken or fractured bones which would need medical care. If the child in that home needs medical attention, but does not have insurance they will have to go and taxpayers will have to pay. Now what if a child had worst injuries such as: abdominal injuries or head injuries? The child with the major injuries could possibly need surgery and there will be no one to pay to bill which will be really high.
“Child abuse and neglect have repeatedly been shown to be risks for psychiatric and personality disorders. In this study, we report mental disorders assessed from early childhood to adulthood in those later identified as victims of abuse or neglect by official or self-report” (Cambridge.org). Children who are abused go through excessive amounts of trauma and some develop mental issues such as: depression or anxiety. While they may need the mental treatment they may not be able to pay for it. The money that would pay for it would come from those who pay their taxes.
Depression is just one of the mental issues that could be a side effect of child abuse. Depression, if bad enough needs to be treated even if they cannot pay for the medicine or treatment. Not treating depression could lead to even more problems that could eventually affect society in a much worse way. Depression, if not treated could lead to the person to hurt others or themselves, which we could have to pay for. If you are going to take action against depression, then you need to understand that child abuse commonly underpins adult depression. “In almost every case of significant adult depression, some form of abuse was experienced in childhood, either physical, sexual, emotional or, often, a combination” (psychologytoday.com).
In children, traumatic experiences such as abandonment, abuse, and neglect call for coping responses. “They may instinctively disconnect from their emotional experience, they may try to overcompensate for what they perceive as their own faults, and they may even store the distress in their bodies and experience it through illness and disease. Especially when these external disturbances become a pattern for kids, they often begin to anticipate the future trauma and be on red alert to attempt to manage the confusing, overwhelming pain. This anticipation sets in as anxiety” (archive.org). Anxiety would need to be treated even if the money can out of others pockets.
Child abuse is one of the more heinous types of crimes because it involves harming some of the most vulnerable people in society. This social attitude is reflected in the severity of punishments for many types of offenses that involve children. However, there are also child abuse penalties and sentencing which are not as harsh depending on the type of abuse involved.
Incarceration is a side effect to child abuse which can involve the parent or the child going to jail. Government money pays for the prisons and the workers in the prisons. Inmates are just some of the people we pay for in society. The money we work hard for goes out of our pockets to those who have done wrong. How is it we pay for the bad people?
One of the things tax money is spent on is the health care and education for the inmates in prisons. Health care is said to be an integral component of correctional management. Health care is needed for everyone even those who do not follow the laws. Education is also needed for those in prison to help better their lives once they get out. Everyone is entitled to a fair education, even the people in prison. The downside to their education and health care is that it comes from our hard earned money. Education consists of training programs, high school diplomas, and GED programs.
Another way our tax money is used in prisons is to pay for correction employees. According to www.vera.org, “state corrections budgets have nearly quadrupled in the past two decades yet the true taxpayer cost of prison reaches far beyond these numbers.” State corrections budgets often fail to reflect certain cost such as employee benefits, capital costs, in-prison education services, or hospital care for inmates covered by other government agencies. We have to pay for their healthcare, employee benefits, and many other benefits of being a government employee.
Correction officers like others with government jobs get really good health care. Their health care helps pay for injuries or illness on the job, Having to be out of work due to the injury, and even help pay for the medical bills. Health care that is offered to people with government jobs is of higher quality than other jobs which drip in to taxpayers’ pockets even more. Although correction officers are need to control the prison, but they get money from us taxpayers.
In the end, child abuse effects everyone in some shape or form. The abuse effects more than the child physically, but also their futures and those around them. The child involved in the abuse can develop injuries and in some cases die, due to the child abuse. The injuries that are acquired during child abuse lead to hospital visits which for those children who do not have insurance cost taxpayers. The mental health of an abused child would need to be handled which would lead to paying for treatments or mental institutions. Treating mental health is well-needed, but does effect the society by taking tax dollars. Lastly, child abuse puts more people in our prisons and more correction officers into those prisons as well. With increase in our prisons we as taxpayers put more and more money into the health and education of the inmates and the benefits for the workers. “Abuse is the weapon of the vulgar” (Samuel Griswold Goodrich).
- Press, Haven Child Abuse
 Herbert Wards – A writer and a lecturer about his Congo experiences
 Child abuse definition – Child abuse can result from physical, verbal, or sexual harm
 CPS protects more than 3 million children
 Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the U.S. annually
 About four out of five abusers are the victims’ parents
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