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Cause and Effects of Child Abuse

Updated on September 16, 2012

Child Abuse

Everyone’s childhood should be a bright, happy time of love, laughter & joy. However, thousands of abused children are living a far darker reality. Whether it is acceptable or not, it is now believed that somewhere in your country, a child is abused every 7 minutes.

Even though there are people who had dedicated their lives to protecting and saving these innocent children, now, it’s time for everyone to get involved. That’s why it’s essential for us to learn as much as we can about child abuse and such as its symptoms. The more we sharpen our skills, the better we’ll be at spotting abused and the abusers.

Child Abuse Information & facts

Children unconsciously give out warning signs when they are being mistreated. The most common symptoms to detect an abused child are their changes in a child’s behavior and physical appearance.

Although every kid is unique, children of a similar age usually show similar behavior attributes. If you notice a kid is presenting highly uncommon or even strange behavior in comparison to his or her friends, it is time to take a nearer look.

Here below are some symptoms or should I say effects of child abuse. However, do keep in mind that they aren’t the only symptoms that point to abuse. It’s also important to remember that these symptoms don’t effectively confirm that a child is being abused until cautious research has been performed by qualified personnel.

It's Time For Everyone to Get Involve

Types of Child Abuse

Physical Abuse

A child is actually abused when he or she is kicked; pinched, smacked or suffering from other methods of actual force that causes harm and injury. Physical misuse also includes strong shaking (especially infants and babies), harming, drowning or smothering.

Please take note:

Physical Abuse = an act on another party to cause feeling of physical pain, injury, or other physical suffering or bodily harm due to physical aggression.

Physical Punishment = an act of physical force with intention for another party to feel pain but not causing injury; mainly for the purpose of punishing.

However, there are times when physical punishment gets out of control and become physical abuse.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is about damaging a kid's self-worth and self-confidence. Meting out degrading psychological measures, continuous severe criticisms or risks and embarrassing a kid comprises as this type of abuse.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is the term for exposing a kid to any form of sexual intercourse. A kid who is compelled to kiss or touch another person's genital area or breasts, or have their bodies inappropriately molested, have intercourse or give oral sex is being sexually abused. Children who are compelled to look at adult material are also being sexually abused.


Parents or care providers are in charge for their child's development, protection and security of the children in their care. When a parent or care provider is physically and economically capable but isn't able to provide basic necessities like the child's food, protection and security to them, they are actually neglecting and therefore abusing their kid.


Causes of Child Abuse

Parental Cause

Here are some characteristics from abusive parents such as isolation, uneducated, low self esteem, depress, fear of rejection, distrust or involved in drugs. Sometimes, unwanted pregnancies could be the major cause of child abuse. Young parents are most likely to be involved in child abuse as they are lack of knowledge and skills about child development. Besides, they take it as violence seems to be the only way to solve the problems.

Child Cause

At a certain age where children do not know how to express their feelings, they tend to show temper or cry for no reason. Parents need to understand that children will need time to learn how to express themselves. Nuisance from the child could increase the likelihood of abuse. It is also shown that disabled children are at a higher risk of being abused as they cannot control their emotions like normal people do.

Family Condition

Some families of single parent, broken marriages or over protective parent may have higher chances of involving in child abuse. Most cases involve families who are living in poverty or in debts. Usually, financial stress and unemployment are the top cause of child abuse and sometimes even spouse abuse.

Effects of Child Abuse

Child abuse can affect all areas of a child’s development including physically, psychologically, emotionally and socially. However, effects on each abused child may be varying depending on the type of abuse.

Emotionally Withdrawn

Shyness in children is common, but emotionally withdrawn isn’t. Children who go out of their way to avoid people & just want to be alone are cause for concern. These behavioral attributes indicate a powerful mistrust or fear of others and are often shown in children who are trying to cope with some way of abuse at home.

Extreme Behavior

In addition to feeling suffering and discomfort themselves, children exposed to abuse and ignore that they are at risk by imposing discomfort on others and developing competitive behaviors in their teenage years.

Kids who are far too obedient and determined to please others, extremely sad and depressed or show a overwhelming worry of being held or moved by grownups are also likely to be suffering from abuse. There's a possibility that kids who are uncommonly aggressive at school or who intimidate other children are also affected by child abuse at home.

Drug & Alcohol Abuse

Growing teenagers that had once been abuse when they were a child sometimes turn to alcohol and medication to reduce stress or to deal with their issues. Research shows that abused kids frequently show a unique interest in various types of medication and often develop serious drinking issues. Check their breath and sleeping habits to help determine if this is occurring. Do keep an eye on their daily schedule and peers they are with.

Physical Scars

Scares, cuts and bruises that are obvious on a child’s hand, body or leg could be an evidence of being abuse especially if these accidents happen again and if the kid is incapable to offer a good description for them. Other signs to look out for these kids include throwing up, difficulty to breath and seizures that do not seem to be relevant to any recognizable sickness. For more severe abuse, child may end up with bone fracture or with a higher risk of developing cancer.

Psychological Effects

Abused child may be lead to mental health problems too sometimes such as depression or anxiety. Psychological effects usually can be seen when the abused child is reaching his teenage years. It is shown that major depression is four times more likely to happen in teenagers than children.


Most abused child will result in death. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 155,000 deaths around the world of children aged 15 or younger occur every year due to abuse and neglect (Pinheiro, 2006).

More Stories of Child Abuse


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    • profile image

      comet 10 months ago

      i am preparing to present about this topic, it is very useful for me, thank you so much

    • profile image

      Linda Deir 3 years ago

      I just wrote a book titled: GUIDED. It's about my own child abuse, both psychically and mentally. In my case I had special help that I discovered as a baby that saved my life and changed the course of the rest of my life. GUIDED will be available on Amazon November 9, 2014.

    • Marilyn Kee profile image

      Marilyn Kee 4 years ago from Penang, Malaysia

      @Ishwaryaa22 , Thank you for visiting! Yes, I hope all these points will be kept in mind of the adults :)

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      A well-written hub with all the important points concerning one of the world's most distressing issues - child abuse. This delicate issue ought to be adddressed immediately so as to be eliminated from the face of the earth! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up

    • Marilyn Kee profile image

      Marilyn Kee 5 years ago from Penang, Malaysia

      Thank you :)

    • profile image

      mours sshields 5 years ago from Elwood, Indiana

      Very informative and interesting!!

      Marcia Ours