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Kiersten Apperson
College Writing I
11 April 2014
Life after Abuse
Child abuse is a hidden crime that occurs every day and has been affecting families for
many centuries. There are over 3 million case reports made each year involving over 6 million
children. Child abuse consists of four classified categories: Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse,
Emotional Abuse (Psychological Abuse), and Neglect. Physical abuse is where a person
intentionally uses physical force on a child that could potentially harm the childs health or
development. Sexual Abuse is when a child is involved in sexual activities and is unable to give
informed consent, is not developmentally prepared, or cannot entirely comprehend the situation.
Emotional abuse can involve isolation, as well as a parent or caregiver failing to provide a
developmentally appropriate and supportive environment. Neglect also includes isolated
situations, and failure to provide for the development and the well-being of the child in one or
more of the following areas: health, education, emotional development, nutrition, shelter, and
safe living conditions.
Norman said The direct physical injury causes less morbidity to the child than the long
term impact of the violence on the childs neurological, cognitive, and emotional development
and overall health. (Norman) This means that when a child is abused, he or she faces less pain
during the incident than they do later in their life. Young children serve a greater possibility,
twice as likely, of being abused in comparison to older children. Younger children are more
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vulnerable and dependent and this increases their odds. Children who are abused have greater
risks for mental disorders, physical complications, along with behavioral problems. Physical
abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect all have long term consequences.
Physical abuse can cause many severe problems, and is typically used as punishment. A
child has to fight the pain daily and sometimes fight to stay alive. When a child is physically
abused, they encounter problems with social cognition and learning to understand others. During
a research, it was proven that physically abused children were more likely to view others
emotions as anger and they were seen as being more sensitive to an expression of anger than
children who were not abused. While a child is still young, they may have a problem with
positive facial expressions, such as smiling, due to his or her parents facial expressions while
abusing them. (Koizumi)
Physically abused children can encounter many problems later in life. Physically abused
children are more likely to develop depressive disorders. They are more likely to be diagnosed
with the depressive disorders though an interview than based off of symptoms. Those who live in
high-income areas have a slight increased probability of being diagnosed with depressive
disorders. There is an increase in suicidal behavior, and an increase in suicide attempts, along
with suicide ideation.
There are other medical complications that correspond with physical abuse. Research
shows there is an increase in risk of anxiety disorders. Victims are three times more likely to
develop an eating disorder, and five times more likely to develop bulimia. There is an increased
risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and being diagnosed with a panic disorder.
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Children who were physically abused have more behavioral problems and are more likely
to act out. They have twice the likelihood of childhood behavioral and conduct disorders.
Approximately 50% of children who turn into delinquents were abused by their parents, and
most parents who abuse their children were abused by their own parents during their childhood.
Children who were physically abused will experience a greater risk of alcohol problem drinking
and non-problem drinking. It also lead to very strong alcohol problems for males. There was a
slight increase in drug usage, and participating in risky sexual behavior, along with a greater risk
of developing Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Sexually abused children can be abused by adults, or other children who have power over
the victim. At first, sexual abuse can lead to high rates of depression, loneliness and suicidal
behavior. These typically become long-term effects. The two most frequent long-term
consequences to sexual abuse during childhood is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and
Sexualized behavior. Sexualized behavior is said to be significantly higher in sexual abuse cases
than any other clinical groups (Krah)
Many other long-term consequences for sexual abuse include health problems, substance
abuse, and eating disorders. Victims may encounter substance abuse and eating disorders by
attempting to tolerate the long-term pain they feel. Another serious consequence is having
difficulty with keeping good relationships between a partner and their own children. This can
then progress and affect the development of a large range of emotional and behavioral problems
that will lead to an impairment of their psychological well-being and social functioning (Krah)
When a child is sexually abused, they typically feel a sense of shame. As a result,
children attempt to push aside the incident and pretend it never happened. They will refuse to
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talk about it, and sometimes act like it never occurred. This type of reaction in children can lead
to the development of dissociative personality disorders.
Emotional Abuse can lead to high probability of damaging a childs physical or mental
health, or their physical, mental, moral or social development. Like physical abuse, Children who
are emotionally abused have greater risks of developing depressive disorders. There is also a
higher suicidal behavior rate than non-abused, and there is more suicidal attempts and suicide
Emotional abuse can also lead to behavioral problems in adulthood. Those who were
emotionally abused have a greater tendency to problem drink, however they are less likely to
experience non-problem drinking, unlike those who were physically abused. They are more
likely to encounter a greater amount of risky sexual behaviors and develop STDs compared to
people who were not abused.
Emotional abuse may lead to health problems. Common situations are Eating disorders,
where they are twice as likely to develop an eating disorder as non-abused children. Theres an
increase in the risk of anxiety disorder. Less common situations are cardiovascular diseases, and
constant headaches and migraines.
Parents who neglect their children are not necessarily poor, they can choose to neglect
their kids. Neglect is the most common type of child abuse. As a result of neglect, children
encounter greater risks of being diagnosed with a depressive disorder. This can also cause greater
suicidal behavior and suicide attempts, along with suicide ideation.
There is some uncommon physical problems that arise from child neglect. There have
been reports of chronic spinal pain, many headaches and migraines, severe arthritis, and
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cardiovascular diseases later on in life. These can arise depending on the severity of neglect they
encountered during their childhood.
The long-term consequences from child abuse and child maltreatment effect individuals
in their everyday lives. They have to endure the pain of their abuse for the remainder of their life
time. The individuals learn to cope with the many possible disorders, such as anxiety, behavioral
disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, and many other health complications. Child
abuse is occurring in homes and similar areas every day, leading to a long life of consequences
that the child had no control over.

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Arias, Ileana. "The Legacy of Child Maltreatment: Long-Term Health Consequences for
Women." Journal of Women's Health (15409996) 13.5 (2004): 468-473. Web. 8 Apr.
Koizumi, Michiko, and Haruto Takagishi. "The Relationship between Child Maltreatment and
Emotion Recognition." Plos ONE 9.1 (2014): 1-4. Web. 8 Apr. 2014.
Krah, Barbara. "Childhood Sexual Abuse and Revictimization in Adolescence and Adulthood."
Journal of Personal & Interpersonal Loss 5.3 (2000): 149-165. Web. 8 Apr. 2014.
Norman, Rosana E., et al. "The Long-Term Health Consequences of Child Physical Abuse,
Emotional Abuse, and Neglect: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis." Plos
Medicine 9.11 (2012): 1-31. Web. 8 Apr. 2014.