Psychology Essays & Paper Examples

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Research Paper On The Psychology Of Child Abuse

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Child abuse is any act that fails to care for the child, causes death or injury, emotional stress, or any serious instance that harms the child. Unfortunately, there is more or less three million cases of child abuse in United States alone, be it child neglect, sexual, emotional, or physical abuse. Reports indicate that at least 28% of adults reported that they were physically abused as a child, while approximately 21% reported sexual abuse. Eleven percent opened about being emotionally abused as a child, and these numbers represent only those cases which were reported.

Imagine those that we have no idea of.

It is important to note that child neglect comes in many forms. It could be educational neglect, where the child is deprived of his right to learning. Another form is medical neglect which can result to a far more serious problem. Physical neglect or inadequacy in supervision is also a form of child neglect, and often this becomes a cause of accident. Emotional neglect, on the other hand, goes to a more profound level, consequently can cause a deeper scar. This refers to the parents’ or the caregiver’s failure to react and attend to a child’s emotions and this is almost always connected to every other form of child abuse, which overtime can stir up serious mental disorders including severe depression, trauma, anxiety, damaged self-esteem, and even to problems as serious as dissociative identity disorder. Child abuse brings forth not just immediate effects such as bruises and welts, but also long-term effects which are most likely difficult to cure. Sometimes, a child will not open up about the abuse because it I highly probable that the child himself is unaware that what he is experiencing is abuse. For instance, an adult may have manipulated the child into thinking that it is a form of discipline, leaving the child in a belief that he did something wrong. Abused children have extreme moods, some can be timid, while others seem to be angry. Other obvious signs that a child is abused are cuts, burn marks, sprains, bruises, poor hygiene, and other visibly painful physical injuries, and often, the child will deny that someone inflicted the said injury because of fear. Sexually abused children are most likely to be timid and seemed to be scared of touch. Aside from the physical pain (brought about by sexually-transmitted diseases), children who are sexually abused may separate themselves from reality and form an alternate reality – this is known as escapism, and can later on evolve to dissociation. Dissociation comes in various forms too including dissociative identity disorder, dissociative amnesia, and dissociative fugue. The most common case of escapism is characterized by the fact that the child is scared of an imaginary monster, which most adults assume us typical child’s nightmare, however, sometimes, this monster represents the child’s abuser, whether in cases of sexual abuse or others. Other cases of child abuse can also result to dangerous mental disorders where the victim can inflict harm to others.

This is where the problem lies.

Sure, we can heal the wounds. We can stitch the cuts. We can wipe the tears, and ice the bruises and welts. But, we can never easily erase the trauma of an abused child. Every hit, every sexual encounter, and every word, the child goes deeper than just a wound on flesh. It becomes a wound on a soul which no bandage nor pain reliever can ease that wound.

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