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Signs and Long-Term Effects of Child Abuse

Effects of Child Abuse

When a person responsible for a child injures their body or their feelings, this is considered child abuse. Boys and girls in any family are susceptible to it—Positive Reset Mental Health Clinic has seen it all. Sometimes, hurt feelings (or emotional trauma) persist even after a physical injury has healed.


Types and forms of child abuse

Any harm to an individual under the age of 18 years is considered child abuse. To broaden our concept of child abuse, let’s look at some forms in which child abuse commonly occurs.



Neglect of a child is the failure to provide enough to eat, wear, shelter, clean living conditions, affection, supervision, education, or provide them with dental or medical care. It is the most common form of child abuse.


Physical abuse

This is known as physical abuse when someone intentionally causes bodily harm to a child or places them in danger.


Sexual abuse

 Any sexual contact with a child is considered child sexual abuse. This may entail sexual contacts, such as deliberate touching, oral-genital contact, or sexual activity. This can also include non-contact sexual abuse of a child, such as forcing a child into sexual intercourse or pornography, watching or filming a child sexually, sexually harassing a child, or using a child as a prostitute, including sex trafficking.


Mental/Psychological abuse

A child’s self-esteem or emotional well-being being damaged is considered emotional abuse. It entails verbal and emotional abuse, such as repeatedly belittling or berating a child and isolating, ignoring, or rejecting a child.


Medical mistreatment

When someone gives a child false information about a condition that needs medical attention, putting the child at risk for harm and requiring needless medical care, this is known as medical child abuse.


Long-term effects of child abuse

In addition to the immediate physical harm a child may experience due to abuse, a child’s response to abuse or neglect can have lifelong and intergenerational effects. Childhood abuse can be associated with later physical, psychological, and behavioral consequences and societal costs. These effects may or may not be independent of each other or interrelated. For example, abuse or neglect can hinder the physical development of a child’s brain and lead to psychological problems, such as low self-esteem, which can lead to high-risk behaviors, such as substance abuse.


Physical effects

Even right away, abuse or neglect can have some long-term physical effects. Others, however, may not show symptoms for months or even years (e.g., brain damage brought on by head trauma).

Although there is a clear connection between physical abuse and physical health, it’s also critical to understand that maltreatment can have long-term physical effects.

Here are some physical conditions that may manifest as a result of child abuse;

   Diabetes

   Vision problems

   Lung disease

   Malnutrition

   Functional limitations

   Migraine headaches

   Chronic bronchitis/emphysema/chronic obstructive

   Pulmonary disease

   Cancer

   Stroke

   Bowel disease

   Chronic fatigue syndrome

   Heart attack

   Arthritis

   Back problems

   High blood pressure

   Brain damage

Psychological effects

Several psychological issues can result from child maltreatment and neglect. The psychological effects of maltreatment, such as difficulties in school, low self-esteem, depression, and difficulty forming and maintaining relationships, can last a lifetime. Maltreatment can also make victims feel isolated, afraid, and untrustworthy. Researchers have linked the following psychological outcomes to child abuse and neglect.



Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by symptoms like persistently experiencing traumatic events related to the abuse. It also includes avoiding people, places, and events that remind them of their experience and maltreatment;

   Feeling fear

   Horror

   Anger

   Guilt

   Shame

   Hypervigilance

   Temper tantrums

   Mood swings

   Startling easily

   Exhibiting

…can affect children who have experienced abuse or neglect.


PTSD in kids can result in

   Depression

   Suicidal ideation

   Substance abuse

   Rebellious or oppositional behavior

This can impair their capacity to do well in school and form and maintain meaningful relationships. Trauma therapy may be necessary.


Signs of child abuse

Indicators and signs of physical abuse

Following are a few examples of physical signs of physical child abuse:

   Bruises on the face, as well as other parts of the body

   Welts or scrapes with unusual patterns

   Bruises that resemble the object that caused the injury (such as buckles or fingerprints)

   Burns caused by hot liquids

   Burns that display the shape of the object that caused them, such as those caused by a cigarette

Signs of child sexual abuse

Among other things, the following are physical signs of sexual abuse.

   Bodily harm to the genital or rectal region

   Body parts like the upper thighs, buttocks, or breasts are hurt

   Discomfort when urinating or pooping

   Presence of foreign objects in the rectum or vagina

   Diseases that are spread sexually

   Urinary tract infections

   Disorders connected to anxiety


General symptoms that indicate child abuse

   Headache

   Persistent stomach aches.

   Acute blunt abdominal pain may not leave visible external scars; look for enlargement, tenderness, and absence of bowel sounds

   Generalized, frequently recurring somatic complaints

   Deteriorating health issues, such as asthma

   Persistent, unexplained throat pain

   Uncharacteristic weight gain or loss



Millions of children throughout the world face child abuse. We should act as a society and put an end to this curse. If you see or notice something, then contact the law enforcement authorities.

Show your full support to the victims of child abuse and encourage them to seek professional help. Contact us today to learn more.