Cause and Effect of Child Abuse
Cause and Effect of Child Abuse
Abuse impacts an individual negatively and follows them the rest of their life. Child abuse is horrific as the abuse is often from the very person that is supposed to protect the child. The abuse isn’t always physical but can be mental, sexual, and neglectful. Many factors can influence a child’s reaction to the traumas that they experience such as age, how far developmentally they are, the type of abuse, how long the abuse went on, how severe, and the relationship to perpetrator. Child abuse is a major problem in the world today. There are several causes such as domestic violence, substance abuse, and inadequate parenting skills but the effects always affect the victims psychologically, physically, and mentally during the abuse and later in life.
One of the many causes of child abuse is domestic violence. If a child lives in a household were violence is present, they often become victims of violence as well. The anger between parents can be projected on to a child if the child begins to cry, tries to protect the abused parent, or just reminding the abuser of the other parent. Some of the effects from this type of abuse is the physical injury to the child such as shaken baby syndrome. Shaken baby syndrome often causes swelling in the brain, possibly internal bleeding of the brain, blindness, or mental retardation. With any injuries to a child’s brain at such a young age may result in cognitive issues as they get older. The brain is still developing so any injuries during this time can be detrimental for the child’s cognitive future. The child could also receive broken bones which if not healed properly will cause issues physically as they get older.
As the child grows older, they can begin to feel isolated and think no one understands or is in the position to help them escape the situation that they are in. Children that feel isolated also tend to have low self-esteem, depressed, have anxiety, eating disorders, mental health issues, and often find their selves contemplating suicide.
Another cause of child abuse is substance abuse. When a parent is so dependent on a substance, they do not have the ability to care for their children the way that they should be. An addictive parent will put their drug needs before their own needs for shelter and food, as they are only searching for their next fix to sustain that ultimate high. Drugs and alcohol can contribute to maltreatment of children. The early exposure to drugs allows a child to think the behavior they are seeing is normal and may experience drugs and alcohol a lot earlier than other children their age. Children also are left up to their own devices in these situations.
Without the parental interaction and support these children tend to suffer academically as they score lower on tests and have issues developing language outside of normal school settings. Other effects of this type of abuse is the higher probability of the child dropping out of school, becoming delinquent, early teen pregnancy, and becoming involved in criminal activity which leads to arrest. Children that experience this type of abuse can also be aggressive as they have no outlet or guidance on how to deal with their emotions in a positive way.
Inadequate parenting skills is another cause of child abuse. A lot of parents when finding out they will be bringing another life into the world get excited and begin to research and participate in classes to help them become a better parent. However, some parents have no desire to be parents but do not take the precautionary measures to prevent pregnancies and often do not believe in abortions or not able to get one because of financial reasons. Some parents even have children to gain government benefits that wouldn’t be available to them otherwise. Some parents are unable to manage the physical and emotional needs to care for the child.
When parents are stressed, they often take their frustrations out on their children both physically and verbally. Relationship issues and financial obligations are the main stressors that many parents face. Some parents just do not have the basic knowledge of the development of a child and may have unrealistic expectations of their role as a parent or the capabilities of the child. The effects of these abused children prevent them from being able to form positive attachments. Being able to attach to the parent or caregiver is important as it is a guideline for relationships in the future. The primary attachment is the person that cares for a child whether it be a parent, friend, relative, or foster/adoptive parent.
This person is to protect, comfort, and guide the child in their life. Without this attachment being positive, the child finds it hard to trust and can be often distressed in situations when they are being asked to trust someone. It is extremely difficult to trust people when the person they are supposed to trust first was never a positive model in their life. Later in life as adults, these children are more likely to not be able to form and maintain strong relationships and have very unhealthy relationships with people.
As you can see child abuse is very damaging to children no matter when they are abused in their life. Children that experience these life scarring events can prevail and make a better life for themselves. However, not all children have the capacity or help to be able to overcome the trauma. These scars may not be seen physically forever but mental scars will always be there. The ultimate effect of abuse is death which occurs more today than one would like to admit. There are classes in place to help parents become better parents. Children that are abused more than likely grow up and repeat the same pattern of abuse if there is no intervention. It is society’s duty to be able to identify and help not only the children that experiences the abuse but also help the abuser understand the effects that last far longer than the abuse itself.