Most of us find it difficult to imagine how anyone could abuse infants and children. In the past, our society has tried to deny it and pretend that such abuse did not exist. However, child abuse has been of the most prominent and acknowledged problems in Americans society. .
For many years, the enormity of the problem was simply inconceivable. Two factors brought the concerns and difficulties associated with abuse to the forefront of social consciousness. First was admitting the problems of child abuse. The second, acknowledging that abuse is present in families of all cultures, religions, and socioeconomic classes.1Experts now recognize abuse as a severe problem with potentially harmful and even devastating effects on children and adults who were abused children.2.
Popular and clinical writings use varying definitions of child abuse. For the most part, child abuse includes physical harmful contact ranging from fondling to rape, neglect of physical well-being, and emotional harm through verbal abuse.3 Often children are victims of several forms of mistreatment.
Not every abused child develops emotional or psychiatric problems. However, child abuse does seem to increase the likelihood of several difficulties.4 This may include aggression toward or avoidance of others, hyperactivity, anxiety, emotional withdrawal, mild to severe delays in physical and emotional growth, and sexualized behaviors. 5.
Clearly, abuse contributes to a child's concept of life. This may include a sense of loss of a good and just world, a negative outlook, and a lack of trust in others or self. 6 Children thrive on the sense of the mother and father being good, caring and all powering. When this person is abusive that interferes with the sense of goodness and fairness. Children feel fearful to their parents" powerfulness.7 They lose their security.
This makes these children more vulnerable to other abuses. Neglected or emotionally deprived children may succumb to seduction that is part of sexual abuse.