One of the most heartbreaking kinds of abuse is child abuse – the purposeful mistreatment of children. Like any other kind of abuse, it can be categorized into types of mistreatment, generally classified as physical, sexual, or emotional. In the United States, child abuse is defined by the CDC as "any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child". These acts of commission can result in serious harm to a child both in the short and long term, and are particularly heartbreaking.
It can sometimes be difficult for outsiders to really know if abuse is happening to a child at home. Physical abuse is often the easiest to spot, as it will leave unexplained marks on the body. In general, children aren’t very good liars, so asking them to explain any marks they may have and then asking the parents for an explanation can sometimes be a good way to discover how a child has been injured. In cases of sexual or emotional abuse, the signs are a little more subtle. By their very nature, children are ill-equipped to deal with the emotional ramifications of being caught in an abusive situation, and so they will likely act out or become withdrawn and depressed. If a child you know undergoes a sudden and dramatic transformation in their behavior, be on alert for other signs that abuse could be occurring.
Typical signs of Child Abuse:
There are many potential physical and psychological ramifications when dealing with child abuse. Physical abuse can directly cause traumatic injury to a child, sometimes resulting in head injuries, broken bones, or even death. Victims of sexual abuse often will become depressed or exhibit signs of extreme anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. They can be at long term risk for addictive behaviors as they may turn to drugs to try and deal with their trauma. Emotional abuse, being the hardest to define, can also be the hardest to predict. Sufferers of emotional abuse may develop anger issues and severe self-esteem problems.
Child abuse is the commission or omission of any acts that may put a child in danger. Here on GoMentor.com, we understand that child abuse is a complex problem with many causes that can negatively impact an entire family. The therapists listed on GoMentor.com can help guide your family through this troubling time, both to help deal with the ramifications of child abuse as well as attack the root causes of the abuse itself. Book an online therapy session today, with a highly skilled therapist who can help you guide your child through any psychiatric problems they may experience as a result of their abuse, and come to realize that the situation was not their fault.