Child abuse and neglect has taken our society by storm. Sadly, some of the victims aren’t even acknowledged until it is too late. The victims that are eventually saved and removed from abusive situations have everlasting effects. While children are not necessarily capable of refuting abuse, they will as some point be able to tell someone and receive help. They are able to change the final outcome (in some cases).
This chart is alarming and horrifying. In 2007, approximately five children died everyday from abuse and neglect alone. That sums up to 1,825 children a year. This is not only tragic, but also 100% avoidable and preventable. Instead, the numbers are steadily rising.
Abuse comes in many forms. As shown in the chart, neglect is the most common type of abuse. Well over half (59%) of the reported cases of child abuse are neglect cases, where caregivers just simply refuse take care of their children.
As a result of fear of further mental, emotional, psychological malfunction and physical abuse and neglect, abused children often keep quiet or remain in denial about their situation. The abuse then goes unreported, therefore leaving the numbers in the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) to be tremendously incorrect.
In conducting my research, I came across this very informative article in The Journal of Issues in Child Abuse Accusations. The article vividly described the long-term effects of child abuse, with a focus on sexual abuse. The proof came from a variety of abused victims that ultimately ended up suffering with issues like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, relationship problems, personality disorders, dissociation, and/or post-traumatic stress disorder. All of these dysfunctions follow these children throughout their lives. They may even lie dormant within and show up at the wrong time. In addition, some of these issues are “slow killers.” Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and eating disorders linger around and cause injury over a period of time.
Journal article, “Cognitive processing of trauma cues in adults reporting repressed, recovered, or continuous memories of childhood sexual abuse,” discussed one of the most frequently defense mechanisms in abuse victims. Repression is a method of coping with extremely traumatic events. This is used as a way to find a sense of normalcy. The mind unconsciously forces itself to erase all memories of the detrimental event, which in turn deletes all negative consequences of the abuse (until it comes out unexpectedly). Also, it was found that children tend to hold on to these tragic events and continue on with the cycle. They may end up being the abuser one day or continue to take abuse later on in life. They will continuously accept things that they do not deserve as a result of feeling worthless (from being abused as a child). They will always be searching for something to fill the void that was developed during their youth as an abuse victim.
Child abuse is extremely expensive. It costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year to cover the necessary costs of recovery and rehabilitation for abused children. In addition, there is also another one hundred three billion dollars related to indirect expenses. THIS IS RIDICULOUS!! Child abuse should not be tolerated. It is a lot cheaper and morally acceptable to simply give the child up if abuse is ever a factor in the equation. Society also suffers.
This chart breaks down the annual costs of child abuse and neglect in 2007 alone.
Sadly, any type of abuse often leave lasting effects that hover throughout the lives of these innocent children. In many cases, abused children experience emotional and psychological issues as adults. For my literature review paper, my proposed topic is: Abused children are more likely to be the subjects of emotional and psychological dysfunction and can in turn, fail to lead productive lives. I found a variety of articles about the effects of child abuse and maltreatment on the outcome of individuals as adults. Several studies and interviews have proven that a large number of children have reported severe abuse, some physical, mental, and/or sexual, which results in drug and alcohol use, depression, and a variety of other issues during adulthood. Therefore, my hypothesis has been proven by the numbers of deaths each year and the enormous amounts of revenue necessary for recovery.
Child abuse is not something that only lasts for the moment…..it truly does last an entire lifetime.
IT ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NO T HURT TO BE A CHILD….. EVER !!!
Negative Long Term Effects Of Child Abuse
NEGATIVE LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF CHILD ABUSE JOHNISHAU HERRING ADVANCED GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY ARGOSY UNIVERSITY AUGUST 15, 2011
JUST MY THOUGHTS… <ul><li>Unfortunately, child abuse is an epidemic that only seems to be increasing in the number of victims and occurrences. According to national statistics, in 2009 “approximately 3.3 million child abuse reports and allegations were made involving an estimated 6 million children” (Child Help, 2011, ¶1). These children need special attention in order to ensure that they will be able to live a normal, healthy life “after the storm.” Although they have no control over the hand that they are dealt, they can control whether or not they allow their circumstances to define them. </li></ul>
<ul><li>In 2009, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) released a report that stated that there were approximately “1,770 child fatalities in 2009” (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2011). These numbers rose higher than those of the year before. This information only includes those events that have been reported; the unreported cases will most likely cause this number to double, and maybe even triple. </li></ul>
RESEARCH FINDINGS <ul><li>In 2006, The Journal of Issues in Child Abuse Accusations featured an article written by H. Wakefield called “The effects of child sexual abuse: Truth versus political correctness.” This reference is one of the best sources! The author describes how years of research proves that “sexual contact between an adult and a child causes depression, anxiety, eating disorders, relationship problems, personality disorders, dissociation, and post-traumatic stress disorder” (Wakefield, 2006). </li></ul>
<ul><li>McNally, Clancy, Schacter, and Pitman wrote an article named, “Cognitive processing of trauma cues in adults reporting repressed, recovered, or continuous memories of childhood sexual abuse,” in The Journal of Abnormal Psychology . This literature goes into detail about the long-term effects of child abuse on the mental functions later in life as adults. The authors explain how such trauma causes repressed and distorted memory and disassociation. This is article is great in pinpointing the psychological repercussions of child abuse and how it sneaks up on the victims on they are adults. </li></ul><ul><li>One of the best articles was written by Turner, Finkelhor, and Ormrod in The Journal of Child Maltreatment in 2010. The article, “The effects of adolescent victimization on self-concept and depressive symptoms,” explicitly explores the correlation between adolescent victimization and depression. As in many research review articles, the findings show that huge numbers of abused children ultimately end up in horrible situations in their adult life. </li></ul>
COSTS OF RECOVERY AND REHABILITATION <ul><li>The total of direct costs of child abuse and neglect spent annually, to include hospitalization, mental health care, child welfare services, and law enforcement, is an estimated $33,101,302,133 (Wang and Holton, 2007). This is absolutely absurd and unthinkable; over thirty-three billion dollars yearly. The annual indirect costs is even more money. The total for indirect expenses is $103,754,017,492 (Wang and Holton, 2007). Indirect expenses for child abuse and neglect in the United States included special education, juvenile delinquency, mental health and other health care, adult criminal justice system fees, and lost productivity to society costs. These figures do not include the potential costs of treating members of the victim’s family and the rehabilitation of the culprit. </li></ul>
MY CONCLUSION <ul><li>After reviewing article after article, I have come to the conclusion that abused children are more likely to be the subjects of emotional and psychological dysfunction and often fail to lead productive lives. Each peer-reviewed article provided clarity to my hypothesis. The bottom line is that violent physical abuse and sexual contact between children and any adult contributes to “depression, anxiety, eating disorders, relationship problems, personality disorders, dissociation, and post-traumatic stress disorder” (Wakefield, 2006) that may be experienced throughout adulthood. In addition, the risk of committing suicide is dramatically increased for those that experienced abuse of any kind as a child. It was found that these types of experiences did not disappear or fade away; in fact, they linger and taunt them throughout their lifetime. </li></ul>
FINAL THOUGHTS… <ul><li>Child abuse is not momentary; it lasts a lifetime. It is also thought that suicide is also a result of victims of child abuse. Unfortunately, the memories and scars (mental, physical, and emotional) linger and continue to cause pain well into late adulthood. In addition, there is a greater risk of alcoholism, illicit drug use, and depression as adults when children are exposed to violence, neglect, and household dysfunction. As a result, I find that my literature proves that abused children are indeed more likely to be the subjects of emotional and psychological dysfunction and can in turn, fail to lead productive lives. All types of child abuse, whether physical, mental, sexual, or emotional, has detrimental effects on children all throughout their lives, and well into late adulthood. My research findings provide the necessary evidence proving that there is a link between childhood maltreatment and neglect and issues like alcoholism, illicit drug use, and depression. </li></ul>
REFERENCES <ul><li>Child Help. (2011). National Child Abuse Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.childhelp.org/pages/statistics . </li></ul><ul><li>Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2011). Child and Neglect Fatalities 2009: Statistics and Interventions. Retrieved from www.childwelfare.gov . </li></ul><ul><li>Turner, H. A., Finkelhor, D., & Ormrod, R. (2010). The effects of adolescent victimization on self-concept and depressive symptoms. Child Maltreatment, 15 (1), 76. </li></ul><ul><li>Wakefield, H. (2006). The effects of child sexual abuse: Truth versus political correctness. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 16 (10438823). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/193849792?accountid=34899 . </li></ul><ul><li>Wang, Ching-Tung and Holton, John. (2007). Total Estimated Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect in the United States . Prevent Child Abuse America. Chicago, Illinois. </li></ul>