The Silent yet Deadly Threat of Emotional Abuse

There is absolutely no place for child maltreatment in an adult-child interaction, and yet it’s not uncommon to find them overlapping each other. The impact of child abuse on the victim can best be described as damaging. Unfortunately, many parents are still oblivious to its harmful effects, especially if the abuse is of an emotional kind. This negligence should be avoided, as the effects of child abuse can be severely detrimental to a child’s development, and even the society.

Types of emotional abuse

Unlike its physical and sexual counterpart, emotional abuse is not that explicit, which is why it often tends to go unnoticed. However, it is no less damaging than other forms of child maltreatment. Over the years, it has been learned that kids may be subjected to six types of emotional abuse, namely terror, ignoring, rejection, exploitation, isolation, and corruption. Each of these types is capable of translating to both short-term and long-term effects of child abuse.

Psychological effects

Subjecting kids to any of the aforementioned types of emotional abuse can instill a sense of isolation, fear and anxiety in them. It can further reduce their ability to reason and trust others. Over the passage of time, there may be a drastic drop in the victim’s self-esteem. Furthermore, they’d find themselves succumbing to depression and even having suicidal thoughts. The inability to trust others makes it harder for them to build and maintain relationships. Studies have revealed that victims of child abuse may suffer from low IQ as well as low academic achievement.

Behavioral effects

Kids, especially teens, may exhibit behavioral anomalies due to their subjection to emotional abuse. They may indulge in substance abuse, adopt delinquent behavior, pay less attention in class and even struggle to stay in school. Being made to feel worthless and having experienced emotional trauma for a long time, they may turn aggressive and abusive themselves. Due to their inability to reason and low self-esteem, their tendency to engage in sexual risk-taking may increase as well. As a result, they find themselves at a greater risk of getting pregnant or contracting sexually-transmitted diseases.

Societal effects

While stroke and diabetes may be the leading concerns in the US, a study funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that child maltreatment and related fatalities is more costly than the two on annual basis. Perpetrating child abuse or neglecting it can further have long-term economic consequences, which can range from juvenile and adult criminal activity to domestic violence and increased use of health-care system.

Shielding kids from even the shadow of child abuse is pertinent to their healthy development. Parents need to understand that by subjecting their young ones to even one of the many types of emotional abuse, they may be planting the seeds for life-long misery of their kids.



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