Child abuse aims at children and children become victims of child abuse because they are defenseless in face of adults. On the other hand, adults often underestimate the impact of their action or inaction on children. As a result, children become victims of the violence either physical or psychological from the part of their parents or other adults.
At the same time, there are some factors that increase the risk of the child abuse and make children more vulnerable to the abuse. In this regard, the child’s age and development status when abuse occurred are very important and may affect the health of children consistently. For instance, children cannot resist adults in the early age, while, as they grow older, they become more resistant and capable to avoid child abuse. Cases of child abuse can have a different impact on children’s development depending on the age and developmental status of a child.
The type of abuse does matter, including physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, etc. In fact, many parents do not perceive their action or inaction as child abuse. For instance, many negligent parents, who do not provide their children with sufficient care and attention, do not believe their action or inaction is a case of child abuse.
The frequency, duration and severity of abuse can affect children’s health and development consistently. The more frequently a child is exposed to abuse, the higher is the risk of negative effects of the child abuse. The same may be said about the duration and severity of child abuse and its impact on the health and development of children.
The relationship between the victim and his/her abuser can also affect the impact of child abuse on children’s health and their development. Often, close people, parents or family members are offenders and such cases of child abuse are particularly dangerous and devastating for children’s health. Family members are close people for children and, in the early childhood, parents are the highest authority for children. As a result, often children are afraid of reporting of cases of abuse and, more important, they just do not know whom to report of cases of their abuse. In addition, they feel disenchanted and they do not trust adults, if they suffer abuse, especially from close family members.
Child abuse may have multiple manifestations and lead to different negative effects. In fact, child abuse may affect not only psychology of children but also their physical and mental health as well as their cognitive development. Anyway, child abuse has a destructive impact on children. Along with physical sufferings, children are exposed to psychological problems that may develop under the impact of their abuse, while, in a long-run perspective, they can develop mental health problems and serious conditions such as recurrent depression.