Effects of Child Abuse and Neglect

Child abuse takes different forms.  This is written focusing on physical abuse. Many thanks to Akmal Niazi Khan a reader who came up with this idea.  This addresses just a tip of the iceberg.

…the work of a mother

...how about stopping this terrible behavior worldwide.  

…start with saving one child at a time

 

Effects of Child Abuse and Neglect

Every child has a right to a safe childhood and a life free from violence. The experience of child abuse and neglect infringe upon that right.
The effects of abuse affect each child differently. While the effects of abuse can be severe and long-lasting, children who have been abused or exposed to violence can and do go on to have healthy and productive childhoods and adult lives. Children are resilient, and being able to discuss and guide our children through a recovery process is crucial to their success. It is often the first step towards healing. In most cases, once their safety is assured, children can overcome the effects of trauma through professional counseling or other supportive interventions.

 Developmental and psychological and effects

The brain develops at an incredible pace during the early developmental stages of infancy and childhood. Studies about early childhood development indicate that the brain develops in response to experiences with caregivers, family and the community, and that its development is directly linked to the quality and quantity of those experiences. Meeting a child’s needs during these early stages creates emotional stability and security that is needed for healthy brain development. Repeated exposure to stressful events can affect the brain’s stress response, making it more reactive and less adaptive. With time a child may react as if danger is always present in their environment regardless of what the presenting situation actually is.
Research has found that children exposed to violence or abuse, if left unaddressed or ignored, are at an increased risk for emotional and behavioral problems in the future.2 Children who are abused may not be able to express their feelings safely and as a result, may develop difficulties regulating their emotions. As adults, they may continue to struggle with their feelings, which can lead to depression or anxiety.

The following are some of possible effects of child abuse and neglect on a child’s mental health:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Academic problems in school-aged children and adolescents
  • Withdrawn and/or difficulty connecting with others
  • Flashbacks
  • Increased hypervigilance
  • Difficulty sleeping

The overall impact of abuse also depends on the child’s natural reactions to stress and ways of coping with stressful situations. Other factors can include age at which the trauma occurred, previous exposure to unrelated traumatic incidents and extent of therapy or timing of intervention.

Physical effects

Children are more physically susceptible to injury than adults as their bodies are still in development. When a child is being physically abused or neglected some of these injuries are apparent. However, there are times when a perpetrator is careful not to leave marks or injuries that are visible so that the abuse is not discovered. Being able to recognize the physical effects of abuse can be crucial in identifying an abusive situation and taking steps to protect a child from further abuse or neglect.
These are some common effects observed in children who have been physically or sexually abused and/or neglected:

  • Bruises, welts or swelling
  • Sprains or fractures
  • Burns
  • Lacerations or abrasions
  • Difficulty in walking or sitting
  • Torn, stained or bloody clothing
  • Pain or itching in the genital area; bruises or bleeding in the external genital area
  • Sexually transmitted infections or diseases
  • Lack of adequate supervision, nutrition or shelter
  • Poor hygiene
  • Inappropriate dress
Children may develop these as ways to cope with complex trauma, or perhaps even to forget or suppress the traumatizing memories.
Possible emotional and behavioral effects of trauma include:
  • Eating disorders
  • Drug use
  • Risky sexual decision-making
  • Self-harm
  • Troubled sleeping
  • Discomfort with physical touch

Beaten by his parent

Every child has a right to a safe childhood and a life free from violence. The experience of child abuse and neglect infringe upon that right.
The effects of abuse affect each child differently. While the effects of abuse can be severe and long-lasting, children who have been abused or exposed to violence can and do go on to have healthy and productive childhoods and adult lives. Children are resilient, and being able to discuss and guide our children through a recovery process is crucial to their success. It is often the first step towards healing. In most cases, once their safety is assured, children can overcome the effects of trauma through professional counseling or other supportive interventions.

Developmental and psychological and effects

The brain develops at an incredible pace during the early developmental stages of infancy and childhood. Studies about early childhood development indicate that the brain develops in response to experiences with caregivers, family and the community, and that its development is directly linked to the quality and quantity of those experiences. Meeting a child’s needs during these early stages creates emotional stability and security that is needed for healthy brain development. Repeated exposure to stressful events can affect the brain’s stress response, making it more reactive and less adaptive. With time a child may react as if danger is always present in their environment regardless of what the presenting situation actually is.
Research has found that children exposed to violence or abuse, if left unaddressed or ignored, are at an increased risk for emotional and behavioral problems in the future. Children who are abused may not be able to express their feelings safely and as a result, may develop difficulties regulating their emotions. As adults, they may continue to struggle with their feelings, which can lead to depression or anxiety.
The following are some of possible effects of child abuse and neglect on a child’s mental health:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Academic problems in school-aged children and adolescents
  • Withdrawn and/or difficulty connecting with others
  • Flashbacks
  • Increased hypervigilance
  • Difficulty sleeping

The overall impact of abuse also depends on the child’s natural reactions to stress and ways of coping with stressful situations. Other factors can include age at which the trauma occurred, previous exposure to unrelated traumatic incidents and extent of therapy or timing of intervention.

 Beaten by his mum with some object

Physical effects

Children are more physically susceptible to injury than adults as their bodies are still in development. When a child is being physically abused or neglected some of these injuries are apparent. However, there are times when a perpetrator is careful not to leave marks or injuries that are visible so that the abuse is not discovered. Being able to recognize the physical effects of abuse can be crucial in identifying an abusive situation and taking steps to protect a child from further abuse or neglect.
These are some common effects observed in children who have been physically or sexually abused and/or neglected:

  • Bruises, welts or swelling
  • Sprains or fractures
  • Burns
  • Lacerations or abrasions
  • Difficulty in walking or sitting
  • Torn, stained or bloody clothing
  • Pain or itching in the genital area; bruises or bleeding in the external genital area
  • Sexually transmitted infections or diseases
  • Lack of adequate supervision, nutrition or shelter
  • Poor hygiene
  • Inappropriate dress
Children may develop these as ways to cope with complex trauma, or perhaps even to forget or suppress the traumatizing memories.
Possible emotional and behavioral effects of trauma include:
  • Eating disorders
  • Drug use
  • Risky sexual decision-making
  • Self-harm
  • Troubled sleeping
  • Discomfort with physical touch

Culled from joyfulheartfoundation

10 Effects of Child Abuse by Pooja Patel
1-Physical Effects

It is true that children are usually more susceptible to injuries than adults because the bodies of the kids are in development. When the children are neglected and physically abused, such type of injuries are apparent, the common effects that are observed in those children who have been sexually or physically abused are, burns, swelling, bruises, fractures, difficulty in walking and sitting, poor hygiene and many others.

2-Psychological Effects

Child abuse affects a child not only physically but also psychologically and emotionally. No doubt children are several times more sensitive than the adult people, that’s why a little bit strictness can be proved harmful for them. The children and also those adults who have become the victims in their childhood are usually suffered from depression, difficulty concentrating, social anxiety disorder, difficulty sleeping and many other psychological disorders.

3-Social Effects

The effects of child abuse are not only physical, psychological or emotional but also social. The children who are neglected or physically abused can not face other people and cannot move in the society like other normal children. They have a lack of confidence and lack pf self-esteem, that’s why they usually suffer from social anxiety disorder. Moreover, society itself finds it difficult to accept that child that are sexually or physically abused.

4-Economical Effects

On the number four, we will discuss some economic effects or consequences of child abuse. Those children who are neglected and physically and sexually abused, can not behave normally throughout their lives. They show the lack of interest in every field of their lives and that’s why they have to face a great number of economic and social problems, governments also have to invest a large amount on the treatments of such children.

5-Alcohol and Drug Addiction

Recent researches show that the alcohol and drug addiction in the adults and children are usually the consequences of child abuse or child maltreatment. It is observed that children want to get psychological escape from the abusive environment and surrounding, they also try to gain control over their negative experiences of life, that’s why they use alcohol and drugs, and this addiction proves very harmful for them.

6-Sexual Problems And Teenage Pregnancy

The Child abuse basically creates a great number of sexual problems, intimacy, and teenage pregnancy. The victims of child abuse have to face sexual problems throughout their lives, they feel difficulty in making any legal relationship with opposite sex and moreover, those who are abused sexually in their childhood have to face the heinous problems of unintended pregnancy and teenage pregnancy.

7-High Crime Rate

The seventh consequence of child abuse is that the victims of child abuse basically increase the crime rate to a great extent. It is observed that those countries who have a great number of cases of child abuses, also have a very high rate of crimes. Mostly such children have become the great criminals because they get only the negative responses and rejection from the society that’s why they want to destroy this society.

8- Self-Destructive Behavior And Suicide Attempts

A great number of researchers have shown that adverse childhood maltreatment or abuses develop the self-destructive behaviors among the children. History also proves this painful fact that those children who are abused physically or sexually begin to love to do painful things and they show very self-destructive behavior. Adults who have become the victim of maltreatment usually are more likely to commit suicide.

9-Cognitive and Intellectual Consequences

The signs of cognitive and intellectual deficits have been clinically noted in the abused or neglected children. Mostly the neglected and abused children have shown the delayed intellectual development, especially in the area of the verbal intelligence. A great number of studies have found the reduced cognitive functioning and lowered intellectual functioning in the neglected and abused children.

10-Inter-Generational Cycles of Abuse

It is a famous belief in both the popular and scholarly literature is that those adults who were maltreated or abused and neglected in their childhood are three times more likely to abuse their own children. About one-third of the individuals who were neglected and abused in their childhood will abuse their own children consciously or unconsciously.

Credit worldrecord

 

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