Child abuse is one of the most trending issues affecting human growth and development. According to an article dubbed “The Long-term Health Outcomes of Childhood Abuse”, child maltreatment results in numerous complications ranging from social and psychological problems. The journal aims to give insight on the health problems caused by forms of abuse and request the relevant authorities to join forces in the fight against child abuse and drafting laws that will help to ensure that children’s rights are upheld.
Child maltreatment has been associated with various psychological and somatic symptoms such as depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress, eating disorders, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Research shows that adults who were subjected to forms of abuse are more likely to engage in irresponsible behaviors such as drug abuse and unprotected sex. These behaviors are attributed to the psychological torture that they bare from such ordeals; hence, they seek consolation from such activities. For instance, people who have been sexually abused in their childhood years will frequently have feelings of inferiority and low self-esteem because they feel that they were stripped of their dignity. The journal gives insight on how to assist child abuse victims in overcoming their ordeals by forming active social service agencies that will cancel these victims and help them regain self-confidence.
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Child abuse may include deliberate physical injury to a minor, psychological torture, and emotional neglect. Based on several studies on child maltreatment, physical force and coercion are linked to worse health problems. Mostly, these forms of abuse occur within abusive family environments where parents engage in domestic conflicts that result in fights. Child protection agencies should act swiftly to rescue children in such homes and protect them.
Retrospective studies show that child abuse has consistent effects that affect early adult psychopathology. About 392 interviews were conducted on women, and it was found that about 46% of the women with a child abuse history had experienced a major depressive episode in their lives. 26% had never been abused and had never experienced depression. Childhood sexual abuse victims tend to have difficulties in interpersonal relationships as a way of preventing another possible incidence of sexual violation. However, studies show that the victims are vulnerable to re-victimization. This is because they tend to spend more time alone than with family and friends hence their attackers can capitalize on this gap. Child abuse is linked to poor educational outcomes because abused children tend to be absent minded in class hence cannot grasp what they are taught. "Abused children have lower grades, lower attendances, and more placements in special educational programs," (Kristen W Springer, pg.6).
Physicians should be aware that child maltreatment predisposes adults to various physical health and chronic mental conditions. They should always inquire about any history of abuse from their patients and follow-up on their behavioral interventions with the aid of psychologists. However, more study is required to understand the link between childhood abuse and adult mental conditions to ascertain the impact on past cases of abuse to explore further treatment strategies. To conclude, there is an urgent need for the collaboration of psychologists, biomedical researchers, judicial systems, child protection agencies, and lawmakers to take a comprehensive action against this menace. There is a need to acknowledge child abuse as a serious health care issue and not to see it as only a social problem. By following the proposals mentioned above, we will be able to counter the menace from left, right, and center and eradicate it.
Springer, K. W., J. S., D. K., & M. C. (2003 oct 18). The Long-term Health Outcomes of Childhood Abuse. NCBI Literature PubMed Central (PMC) .