Child Abuse

Child Abuse has occurred throughout the ages, and often gone virtually ignored. Today, things are finally changing for the better, and people are realizing the consequences of abusive child-rearing practices. Studies of the brains of children subjected to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse are showing that the way a child’s brain develops may be fundamentally changed, with negative and life-long results from exposure to maltreatment!

Child Abuse, as with any abuse, is more than bruises or broken bones. Ignoring a child’s needs, putting them in unsupervised, dangerous situations, or making a child feel worthless or stupid are also child abuse. Regardless of what type of abuse occurs, the scars run deep.

It is easy to think that it takes a monster to abuse their children. However many perpetrators of child abuse do not even realize what they are doing. Often, they were abused themselves as children, and think that their approach is normal parenting. They may suffer from mental health issues, and not quite see the wrong in their treatment of children. They may simply be ignorant about the developmental stages children go through, leading them to make inappropriate and harmful responses to their child’s perfectly normal behavior. Sometimes, even a family that seems to “have it all” from the outside may be hiding a very different reality behind closed doors. Children, more than other victims, need our help and advocacy. They cannot speak out for themselves, and can undergo the most profound types of harm. The information provided here is intended to help you help children, whether it be your own, or a member of the community.

Explore Child Abuse in further depth in these articles:

Much of our discussion of child abuse here is drawn from the even more extensive resource written by Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and found online here.

 

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