Long Term Effects Of Child Abuse


Child abuse is devastating, and its effects can have an impact on every aspect of a child's life. The short term effects are usually measurable but the long term effects are sometimes not qualified or quantified. Projection of the long term effects of abuse will also depend on the age of the child when the abuse took place, the type of abuse, how often it occurred and the child's relationship with the abuser.

It is important to determine what constitutes child abuse. The first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people is child sexual abuse, as serious as this is, there are other types of abuse such as neglect, emotional and psychological. These types of abuse can occur as a singular issues or a combination of issues that can vary intensity and regularity. The short term effects of abuse usually display some sort of visible scarring, such as bruising or broken bones, behaviour problems and illness, but the longer term effects will depend on the situation, the child and their resilience and their support and long term support network.

Physical long term effects will depend on whether or not there was any brain damage through abuse such as Shaken Baby Syndrome, which can result in the brain failing to form correctly can result in learning disabilities, and possible retardation depending on the severity.

Psychological effects can be life changing as the victim will always have trust issues in any relationship, this in turn will isolate the young person, which will then have an effect on mental health issues such as depression which will also culminate in difficulties within relationships. Adolescents will benefit from the specialised support of mental health 'Early Intervention Team'.

Behavioural and psychological effects develop alongside each other. In the quest to be less isolated within their peer group, young people will tend towards dangerous and impulsive behaviours that can result in teen pregnancy, delinquency and drug use. All these effects will have an impact on academic achievement. The impact of abuse can change a child from being a good student to one that has little regard for their work or they experience and inability to concentrate and take on the responsibility for their learning.

The long term effects of child abuse has a major impact on the funding of social services, mental health services, policing and the judicial system. Apart from the obvious cost of bringing a child abuser to justice, there are the other costs that have a financial impact which includes the cost of juvenile criminal activity and substance use related to the impact of child abuse.

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