Homework Help

who do you think is at fault, the child or parent when it comes down to child abuse?i...

user profile pic

crystal911 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 11, 2009 at 12:48 PM via web

dislike 1 like
who do you think is at fault, the child or parent when it comes down to child abuse?

i am doing a paper on child abuse and need help forming the thesis i want to know your opinion if the child or the parent is at fault and why or why not you think so? please and thank you so much!

10 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted February 11, 2009 at 2:07 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

Can you possibly mean that question the way it reads?? Children are NEVER at fault when they are abused. They are sometimes made to believe that they are, through psychological manipulations of the parent; adults are supposed to know better than to ever abuse a child. I suspect what you are really trying to ask is if the abusive parents were themselves manipulated and abused by their own parents. The answer to that one is yes. People tend to raise children the way they themselves were raised, and that is not always a good thing.

There are sources in the reference section of eNotes that will assist you further. They are in the Social Sciences section; just search for "child abuse".

user profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 11, 2009 at 2:28 PM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

The child is never at fault. Every parent gets annoyed by his or her children from time to time, but there is never a good reason to hurt a child, whether physically or emotionally. I'm appalled that there would even be a question in anyone's mind about this.

Having said that, I am reminded that there is a group of people who claim that sex between a child and an adult is natural and should not be prohibited. They claim that children enjoy the sexual act and that they even initiate the contact. You'll even hear some pedophiles claim that they were seduced by the children they abused. Just as sex in the workplace between a adult boss and an adult employee can be considered nonconcentual and abusive because the boss has power over the employee, so also sex between an adult and a child is ALWAYS nonconcentual and abusive. The child has no power over the adult. Even in the off chance that a child were to agree, that child is not capable of making that decision.

I'll end my rant--Children are never to blame for abuse.

user profile pic

mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 11, 2009 at 2:55 PM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like

I agree with the above comments-the child is never, ever at fault.  There is also a recent and disturbing push in psychology that is studying the possibility that pedophiles can't help themselves, because there is a genetic difference in their brains.  They claim that they are born pedophiles, and their brains are wired differently than "normal" people's brains.  So, some people might say that sex offenders can't help themselves, and so are not at fault for their actions.  They'll cite brain scans, studies, MRI's, etc. to point out the "differences" in the brain of a pedophile and a normal person, and try to use those differences to show that it is just who these people are.  Just like we can't help it if our eyes are brown or blue, or if we are tall or short.

Personally, I find this argument to be the definition of evil.  I know that's extreme, but that is how I feel about it.  Any time you take someone who is doing evil things, and say, "They can't help it", you are enabling those acts to occur.  The bottom line is that child abuse is wrong, no matter the cause, and there is no excuse for it, ever.

user profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 12, 2009 at 8:14 AM (Answer #5)

dislike 0 like

This is like trying to argue that the woman who was wearing a mini skirt WANTED to be raped.  Are you kidding?  How can children want or be held responsible for the abuse they receive from the people who are supposed to be their loving guardians?  What other choices do they have but to take it, and grow up with the mindset of being just like their parents or rebuking everything about their parents? 

It is not the child's fault.  Ever.

user profile pic

cburr | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted February 12, 2009 at 7:05 PM (Answer #6)

dislike 0 like

I completely agree that abuse is NEVER the child's fault.  I suspect that what crystal is thinking of may be whether some kids are so trying or difficult to manage that it is understandable that the parents overreact.

Again, however trying the child, it is the parents responsibility NOT to be abusive.  However, there were a handful of times when I was raising my hyperactive son when I thought -- I can so understand how child abuse happens.

Sadly, many people become parents when they do not have the emotional stability to withstand these tests.  At times parenting can be the hardest thing you will ever do.  It is no surprise that some simply can't handle it.

user profile pic

ms-charleston-yawp | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted March 25, 2009 at 7:26 PM (Answer #7)

dislike 0 like

Is it totally redundant of me to say "ditto" to all of the previous posts?!?  When I read your question, I squinted my eyes and leaned closer to the screen wondering if you could possibly be serious about this.  Children are NEVER at fault, they are just learning and make mistakes in the process.  It is the adult who has the issue controlling his or her anger and needs professional help in doing so.

user profile pic

sassyd2u | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 18, 2009 at 6:47 PM (Answer #8)

dislike 0 like

I am a victum of major child abuse as well as was raped and molested as a 5 year old girl by my step brother who was a teen at the time. Anyways just in the last three weeks I opened up to a man who I had been living with for 3 years and was a social worker at the time. Well he straight out asked why I did not do anything about it..I lost it and felt and now can't get over thinking at the age of 4 and 5 I should of just faught back little children do not no it is not right to be put through hell it is now a normal life style for the child

user profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted May 24, 2009 at 7:51 AM (Answer #9)

dislike 0 like

As long as a child is dependent on parents, there is no question of child being at fault. It is the responsibility of parents to inculcate right type of behavior pattern in children.

Children are put under charge of parents because children are not expected to learn by themselves what is right and what is wrong. A child may commit a mistake. But this should not be treated in fault in child - it is just a mistake to be corrected. It is just like a child making a mistake in solving a sum in maths. It is the job of teacher to teach the student to do sums correctly.

When it comes to child abuse, there is no justification whatsoever of absolving parents from their responsibility. If parents cannot accept their responsibility and protect their children from child abuse, perhaps they should be declared incapable of looking after their children and should be denied their custody.

user profile pic

alohaspirit | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted June 9, 2009 at 7:40 PM (Answer #10)

dislike 0 like

absolutely the parent!  The child is innocent and does not create abuse, the parent is the adult and should be able to control his/her emotions.

user profile pic

epollock | Valedictorian

Posted June 9, 2009 at 8:40 PM (Answer #11)

dislike 0 like

Obviously the parent. They can control their behavior even if they can't control their child's.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes