Child Abuse Elder Abuse)
Abuse in the contemporary society
There is much controversy regarding child and elderly abuse in the contemporary society. Even with the fact that the general public agrees with regard to the negative effect such actions have on victims and on the world as a whole, numerous cases are still being reported every year and it seems that in many communities there is a type of silent acceptance of the occurrence. In most cases, the perpetrators motivate their behavior by relating to the stress that their victims inflicted on them previous to the violent event and to how their actions were largely owed to the fact that they could no longer control themselves. The following two cases of abuse demonstrate the degree to which violence pervades the social order and makes it difficult and almost impossible for anyone to intervene.
The American football running back for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League, Adrian Peterson, has been indicted for child abuse as a consequence of physically abusing his child by grabbing a branch from a tree and taking its leaves off. He beat his four-year-old boy, who was at the time living with his mom in Minnesota and was visiting him in Texas, with the stick he manufactured for this purpose, leaving marks over his buttocks, legs, arms and hands, and hitting him in the scrotum. He also sent the child’s mother texts to inform her of the treatment he administered his son.
The 6-foot 1 inch, 217 pound NFL player used an educational method that is likely to still be in use in many homes. Even with this, the football player was cooperative with the investigators and it was visible that he had a complex understanding of the situation he was in and that what he had done was wrong. “I truly regret this incident. I take full responsibility for my actions” (Peterson in Vikings star Adrian Peterson avoids jail time in child abuse case)
For those who never intentionally inflicted any physical pain on their children, the above news may be disturbing. The fact that the practice is as old as humanity and is still widely spread does not offer those who practice it today any excuse. Psychologists, sociologists, scientists who have studied child behavior, child rearing and various repercussions on adults who have suffered as children forms of abuse warn about the negative effects on the future adult.
While children are often the victims of abuse, they are not the only ones vulnerable to such actions. The elderly are also exposed as a consequence of their physical weakness, and, in some cases, because of their mental capacity being reduced as they age. Caregivers are often provided with the task of caring for these respective people, but in some cases they do the exact opposite by actually harming them.
A February 2014 case emphasizes the lengths to which some people are willing to go in order to feel satisfied with themselves. “Police said on Feb. 21 they found Marie Bois Belfort, 75, in a basement bedroom with the thermostat off and the thermometer reading 51 degrees.” (Haynes) In spite of being paid to do her job, 48-year-old registered nurse Sandra Calixte Lucien expressed little to no interest in Belfort’s well-being. The caregiver was unhesitant about leaving Belfort in inhumane conditions and actually claimed that she should be praised for doing something in order to improve the old woman’s life. Lucien obviously could not make the difference between caring for somebody and not letting them die.
Both children and the elderly are exposed to being abused as a result of the facts that they lack the physical strength to stand up to their oppressors and because they are more likely to perform actions that infuriate others. The fact that these people have a limited ability to understand when they are misbehaving makes it difficult for them to avoid making others feel like they should penalize them.
While most people limit their penalties to scolding or to actually trying to demonstrate why a certain action was wrong, other go further and use physical violence. These respective people are frustrated and unable to understand the effect that their violent actions have on others. Frustration can sometimes lead an individual to commit actions that he or she cannot fully comprehend.
Abuse is very common today and the number of victims is constantly growing. This is in spite of the fact that society is presumably becoming more civilized and despite people being widely familiar with the degree to which abuse harms the world. In order to make change possible one would have to take things slowly and focus on diverse ways in which he or she would be able to put an end to abuse or to influence individuals he or she interacts with to also acknowledge the effects of such actions.
Haynes, V. “Stoughton police: Woman charged in ‘worst case of elder abuse’.” Retrieved February 25, 2015, from http://www.wcvb.com/news/stoughton-police-woman-charged-in-worst-case-of-elder-abuse/24713294
“Vikings star Adrian Peterson avoids jail time in child abuse case,” Retrieved February 25, 2015, from http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/11/04/adrian-peterson-to-return-to-court-in-felony-child-abuse-case / http://www.tmz.com/2014/09/12/adrian-peterson-indicted-for-child-abuse / http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorymcneal/2014/09/16/adrian-petersons-indefensible-abuse-of-a-4-year-old-likely-violates-texas-law / http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/18/sports/football/nfl.html
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