THE BAHAMAS CRISIS CENTRE
What are the Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect?
According to Childwelfare.gov the long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect (child maltreatment) can be profound and may endure long after the abuse or neglect occurs. Effects can appear in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood, and may affect various aspects of an individual’s development (e.g., physical, cognitive, psychological, and behavioral).
These effects range in consequence from minor physical injuries, low self-esteem, attention disorders, and poor peer relations to severe brain damage, violent behavior, and death. However, while maltreated children are at greater risk for these negative effects, many children are resilient in the face of adversity.
Sally was a nine year old girl who always seemed distracted in class and would never pay attention during her lessons. She used to be a very active child in school. She would be excited to answer questions and participate in all class activities. Her teacher noticed a change in her behavior. Whereas she was happy to participate before she now was reluctant to answer questions or outright refused to participate in class activities..
After trying to get through to Sally her teacher spoke to the principal, who in turn contacted her mother. After having a meeting with her mother the principal found out that her mother had lost her job. Unable to manage the stress from looking for work and the pressure from trying to provide for her family, she had developed a severe case of depression. This led to her coming home and taking out her anger on her children. She started shouting at them or blaming them for her problems.
Sally not knowing how to relate or understand the sudden change in her mother became withdrawn and started to not eat due to a lack of an appetite. She blamed himself for her mother’s problems.
Healing the Nation
All forms of abuse hurt! Child abuse seems to be one of the most destructive forms of abuse in our society today. For whatever form it may take child abuse does not just affect the present situation in our communities and nation but also our future stability and progress. Considering that many of the children that are abused grow to be abused adults, who carry the same scars of child hood within themselves. Unless they seek or are given help to heal those wounds incurred as a child, these same adults will practice or continue their same learnt behavior into adulthood. This will in turn affect their relationships, possibly work ethics and even the manner in which they raise and treat their own children.
What is child abuse?
Child Abuse has been defined as an act, or failure to act, on the part of a parent or caretaker that results in the death, serious physical or emotional harm, Sexual Abuse, or exploitation of a child or which places the child in an imminent risk of serious harm.
Child abuse can occur in any number of ways including Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse and Neglect and Sexual Abuse. Today’s discussion focuses on Emotional Abuse and Neglect. Emotional Abuse and Neglect can go from mild to very extreme cases. However even a mild case of emotional abuse or neglect can greatly affect a child’s development and ability to perform.
CHILD ABUSE IS EVERYONE’S PROBLEM.
Emotional Child Abuse and Neglect
Emotional abuse is the repeated rejection and humiliation of a child, constant negative communication, withholding love and affection and the ultimate destruction of the child’s self-esteem.
Signs of emotional abuse can include physical problems resulting from stress, poor performance at school or low self-esteem.
The child may appear depressed, excessively passive or aggressive, experience sleep problems and have slow development.
Neglect is the failure, intentional or unintentional, of a parent or guardian to provide food, shelter, clothing, health care and education for a child.
Signs of neglect can include unkempt appearance, lack of medical or dental care, and developmental lags.
A child who is neglected may beg for food, steal, show lack of interest in anything, appear flat, tired and listless, and have constant fatigue.
We are one people created equal by God and for the purpose of loving and being loved. Let us work together to heal ourselves, families, communities, nation and world.
For more information check out our website at http://www.bahamascrisiscentre.org or contact us. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 328-0922. If you have, or someone you know, has been the victim of child abuse, you can also call Child Protective Services on 322-2POD, 326-1451, 326-0526 or 326-5560 or the Child Abuse Hotline: 322-2763