The Lasting Impact of Child Abuse on Individuals and Society
Without parental interaction and support, these children suffer academically as they score lower on tests and have issues developing language outside of traditional school settings. Other effects of this type of abuse are the higher probability of the child dropping out of school, becoming delinquent, early teen pregnancy, and becoming involved in criminal activity, which leads to an arrest. Children who experience this type of abuse can also be aggressive as they have no outlet or guidance to deal with their emotions positively.
Emotional Development and Relationships
Inadequate parenting skills are another cause of child abuse. When finding out they will be bringing another life into the world, a lot of parents get excited and begin to research and participate in classes to help them become better parents. 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 cannot get one because of financial reasons. Some parents even have children to gain government benefits that wouldn’t be available to them otherwise.
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Some parents cannot manage their physical and emotional needs to care for their children. When parents are stressed, they often take their frustrations out on their children physically and verbally. Relationship issues and financial obligations are the main stressors that many parents face. Some parents 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 child’s capabilities.
The effects of these abused children prevent them from forming positive attachments. Being able to attach to the parent or caregiver is essential as it is a guideline for relationships in the future. The primary extension is the person who cares for a child, whether 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 often be distressed when asked to trust someone. It is tough to rely upon people when they are supposed to trust first was never a positive model in their lives. Later in life, as adults, these children are more likely not 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 who experience these life-scarring events can prevail and make a better life for themselves. However, not all children have the capacity or help 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 admit. Children that are abused are more than likely to grow up and repeat the same pattern of abuse if there is no intervention.
- “Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard” by Liz Murray
- “Ghost Girl: The True Story of a Child in Peril and the Teacher Who Saved Her” by Torey L. Hayden