According to World Health Organization (WHO), child abuse refers to negligence or mistreatment of the physical, emotional, psychological or sexual state of a child by a guardian or a parent which results in actual or potential development, survival, health of the child or harm to the dignity. This can occur in places where a child interacts with, that is, in an organization, community, school or a child’s home. Child maltreatment occurrences are influenced by factors at individual and societal level. For instance, factors at the level of society include cultural practices that encourage physical punishment, economic inequality and lack of social safety while those at individual level are personal history, age, and sex.
Emotional abuse or negligence can result in a variety of effects on emotions. For instance, children who repeatedly face humiliation, negligence or embarrassment tend to suffer much more than if they are assaulted physically. Besides, neglected children grow up facing social withdrawal, difficulty in school and making relationships, trust issues, lack of development, low self-esteem and insecurities. 58. While emotionally abused babies and pre-school children seem not to have close relationship with their guardian or parent and tend to be overly affectionate towards strangers, older children may use foul language, have difficulty in controlling strong emotions, lack social skills and seem distant from their parents.
Physical child abuse may cause immediate effects such as minor cuts or bruises and severe broken bones or death; however, the physical impacts may be temporary in some cases. On the other hand, long-term impacts of child abuse on physical condition and growth include impaired brain development which impacts on academic, cognitive and language abilities of a child, poor physical health, that is, shortened lifespan, high-risk health behaviors, and chronic conditions, in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
In America, prevalence of having disorganized attachment style or psychiatric problems in children is linked with a history of abuse or negligence. According to 87, children are 28% more likely to be detained as adults, 30% more likely to commit forceful offense and 59% more likely to be halted as juveniles because due to psychological impacts of past abuse or negligence. Moreover, disorganized attachment is associated with problems in development which include acting out of symptoms, anxiety, and depression in children and when these children become guardians or parents, specifically those that ail from dissociative symptoms and posttraumatic stress disorder, they tend to experience problems in addressing their normative distress and infants and young children’s needs.
Overall, child negligence or abuse in America is as important as other critical childhood difficulties because they lead to long-term and short-term emotional, psychological and physical impacts that ultimately affect upbringing and development of a child. Even though there are some remedies and treatments available to child abuse victims, the agony and grief caused to a child should at no time be discounted.