Child Abuse and Neglect
The thought of hurting a child seems unimaginable and yet each year there are more than three million reports of child abuse in the United States (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008). These children are usually hurt by people they know, such as parents or other family members (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2009). While not all child abuse is traumatic, it can affect a child for a lifetime. In recent years, interventions with strong evidence bases have emerged, providing increased hope that we can help children heal from the abuse they have experienced (Boggs et al., 2004; Chemtob, Nakashima, Hamada, & Carlson, 2002; Coulborn Faller & Palusci, 2007; Lieberman & Van Horn, 2004; Schuhmann, Foote, Eyberg, Boggs, & Algina, 1998; Shapiro, 2002; Walsh, Jones, & Cross, 2003 ). In this chapter, we review definitions, incidence, impact, history, and response to child abuse. We also discuss unique indicators of this form of trauma, practice considerations when working with survivors, and evidence-based interventions.