Differing Forms of Child Abuse

By James Witherspoon

Child abuse is an unfortunate reality in our society. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that over 10 of every 1000 children are victims of maltreatment in the form of abuse or neglect at some point in their lives. Child mistreatment is a serious yet preventable danger that can have long term effects. A study from the New Jersey Medical School in 2004 suggested that children who suffered abuse are more likely to struggle with commitment in their future relationships. This study also found that these victims had an increased chance of dealing with divorce or sexual unfaithfulness.

Child abuse does not always have physical signs that can be easily spotted by others. Neglect and emotional abuse are two of the most common examples, and often these detrimental behaviors may not have external indicators. It is hard for a child to recognize these actions as abuse, but they can understand the harmful effects and feelings they suffer because of these inexcusable acts.

Another challenge in preventing the mistreatment of children is proper communication between victims and responsible adults. Often, child neglect or abuse goes unaccounted for because a child does not fully comprehend that an action is wrong or inappropriate. Certainly, they can describe the resulting pain and damage, but that does not always equate with their ability to recognize an action for what it is.

Abuse can take several forms, and is often physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal in nature. These types of abuse all can have serious effects of the life of a child, both in childhood and in adulthood. In fact, the effects of abuse early on in life can manifest themselves for years after the damaging incident occurred




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