Child abuse is defined as the psychological, physical, and/or sexual maltreatment of a child, that is, in an individual who is legally a minor. Child abuse has been found to be usually perpetrated mostly by one or both parents or any other primary, secondary, or tertiary caregiver, and is often the root cause of severe and lifelong negative implications on the child. Child abuse is a crime punishable by law, and the perpetrators can face strict sentencing depending on the severity of the abuse and the region of residence. In this article, we will discuss the potential harm that an abused child is threatened with.
Negative effects of child abuse:
The most obvious impact of child abuse, of course, is on the physical level. Beating up the child or threatening them with physical punishment is a widely practiced, and even accepted, form of disciplinary action. However, this amounts to abuse if taken too far. Physical punishment may result in serious injury, trauma, and even death. Instances of parents or caregivers beating a child to death are not very uncommon, especially in certain parts of the world. Damage can range from broken limbs and internal injuries to severe neurological disorders. The last one is mostly seen in children who experienced rough handing or shaking in infancy. A history of neglect will of course result in malnutrition and underdeveloped physical stature.
The emotional impact of abuse in childhood is often longer lasting than the physical trauma. Emotional damage can result from physical punishment, psychological maltreatment, and sexual trauma. A child who has experienced being beaten up and being threatened with beatings all their life might grow up with severe psychological problems. They might find it difficult to forge and maintain friendships, be emotionally volatile, and in the direst cases, develop extremely serious psychological conditions to escape from the harsh reality. Instances of depression and suicidal tendencies are also quite common in victims of child abuse. A child who has faced neglect from caregivers may grow up to be extremely dependent, shaky, and anxious, or become completely detached and unable to form close bonds.
Child abuse also leads to immense social problems. If the child becomes withdrawn due to the abuse they face at home, there is a greater possibility of being bullied by peers in social situations. Anxiety coupled with a lack of confidence leads to academic and social under performance, Most children in such situations find themselves unable to fit into their peer groups, which leads to further withdrawal. A child who has been neglected might find themselves incapable of forming close bonds, or might crave to substitute parental love and care with every relationship they forge.
Being a victim of child abuse is, without a doubt, one of the most traumatic experiences one may have in their lives. Irrespective of what form the abuse took, he consequences are severe and extremely intransient. More often than not, it takes years of medical and therapeutic help to recover from the childhood trauma. Sadly, however, many cases of child abuse go completely unnoticed until the individual is well into adulthood.