Mental Damage Caused by Child Abuse

Topics: Child abuse, Abuse Pages: 8 (2962 words) Published: July 4, 2005
Any type of Child Abuse, carried out for
a long period of time, may cause long-term mental damage. In this paper I intend to explain child abuse in intimate detail. I hope to inform you of the exact definition of abuse and its various types. I hope to enlighten you on pertinent facts and information on the causes and effects of this cruel act. I will also show you statistical information showing that continued abuse against a child may cause long-term mental damage. I will also show improvements being made over the years to improve and prevent child abuse. Child Abuse is defined as intentional use of physical force or intentional omission of care by a parent or caregiver that causes a child to be hurt, maimed, or killed. Child abuse covers a wide range of harmful actions, which generally vary with the age of the child. The term child abuse covers a wide range of behavior, from actual physical assault to simple neglect of a child's basic needs. Child abuse is also sometimes called child maltreatment. Infants and preschool children are most likely to suffer deliberately inflicted fractures, burns, and bruises. This is known as the battered-child syndrome. Although the extent of child abuse is difficult to measure, it is recognized a s a major social problem, especially in industrialized nations. It occurs in all income, racial, religious, and ethnic groups and in urban and rural communities. It is, however, more common in some groups, especially those below the poverty line. There are several different types of child abuse, and some children experience more than one form: Physical abuse includes deliberate acts of violence that injure or even kill a child. Unexplained bruises, broken bones, or burn marks on a child may be signs of physical abuse. Other signs include: Physical Indicators ·Unexplained bruises or welts ·Unexplained burns ·Unexplained fractures and sprains ·Unexplained head injuries ·Unexplained lacerations or abrasions ·Poisoning, inappropriate drugs, food or drink ·Confinement Behavioral Indicators ·School absence correlates with appearance of injury ·Behavioral extremes, i.e. overly compliant, passive or undemanding, aggressive, withdrawn ·Easily frightened, fearful ·Wary of physical contact or touch ·Poor social relations ·Afraid to go home ·Destructive to self and/or others ·Chronic runaway ·Complains of soreness or moves uncomfortably ·Wears clothing inappropriate to weather to cover body Sexual abuse occurs when adults use children for sexual gratification or expose them to sexual activities. Sexual abuse may begin with kissing or fondling and progress to more intrusive sexual acts, such as oral sex and vaginal or anal penetration. Common signs of sexual abuse are: Physical Indicators ·Difficulty walking or sitting ·Torn clothing, ·Stained or bloody underwear ·Pain or itching in genital area ·Venereal disease, especially in preteens ·Pregnancy Behavioral Indicators ·Sudden reluctance to go someplace or be with someone ·Inappropriate displays of affection ·Sexual acting out ·Sudden use of sexual terms or new names for body parts ·Uncomfortableness or rejection of typical family affection ·Sleep problems, including: insomnia, nightmares, refusal to sleep alone or suddenly insisting on a night light ·Regressive behaviors, including: thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, infantile behaviors or other signs of dependency ·Extreme clinginess or other signs of fearfulness ·A sudden change in personality ·Problems in school ·Unwilling to participate in or change clothing for gym class at school ·Runs away from home ·Bizarre or unusual sophistication pertaining to sexual behavior or knowledge, including sexual acting out ·Reports sexual assault by parent or guardian Not all child abuse is physical. Emotional abuse is one of the most common and harmful forms of child abuse. Making fun of a child, name-calling, always finding fault, and showing no respect can damage a child's...
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