Child Abuse in PR
The problem of violence in Puerto Rico particularly affects children. During 2013, the Department received a total of 34,376 abuse referrals, of which 15% were based. The data shows that 5% of the cases were based on intrafamilial sexual abuse; 34% for physical abuse; 45% due to negligence; 2% for educational negligence; 11.8% for emotional negligence; 1.9% for medical malpractice; 0.3% of the cases were cataloged under other types.
Violence can have serious consequences for children, both in the short and long term. Early exposure to violence can have an impact on brain development and, in the case of prolonged exposure-including as witnesses-the effects on the nervous and immune systems can cause social, emotional and cognitive limitations and produce behaviors that cause illness, injuries and social problems, which could manifest throughout life. A battered child may develop cognitive and brain impairments that would have to be addressed by special education services and specialists. In addition, it can lead to social adaptation difficulties and personality disorders that can lead to criminal behavior.
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