One in forty three infants in the United States were abused or neglected in 2006. Abuse includes beating, kicking, biting, burning, or shaking. Abandonment, maternal drug use, and failure to meet basic necessities, such as clothing, food, and housing, qualify as neglect.
Why is this number so high, especially when, “The findings do demonstrate a clear pattern of early neglect and physical abuse that is largely preventable.” ?
I believe part of the answer lies in the definition of neglect itself: maternal drug use. Why is maternal, and not paternal, drug use considered neglect? The implicit meaning in the exclusion of paternal drug use is that men are not as responsible for their own children, which is wrong. Women are not solely responsible for their children and pressuring them to feel so often leads to feelings of anger or resentment towards these children, the children often neglected or abused.
The abuse is preventable, but not by individual parents. Because parenting is often solely delegated to women and undervalued as actual, difficult work in society, mothers feel isolated. By fostering an atmosphere of equal responsibility between parents and creating a network of community between neighborhood parents, maybe, abuse will be lessened, maybe children will suffer less.