What are the major effects of child abuse?

There are multi-faceted effects of child abuse as follows:

1. Low Self Esteem

When the parents fail to provide the much needed love and affection to their child, then the child experiences low self esteem. The child starts feeling guilty for whatever happens in the family. This affects the mental well being of the child.

Those children who are sexually abused may have extreme form of low self esteem which may develop suicidal tendency in the mind of the child.

2. Feeling of Alienation

An abused child expresses feeling of alienation. He may have family problems, such as divorced parents, poverty etc. Due to inferiority complex, the child may not be able to develop healthy social contacts with others. The child may not trust anyone and he may detach himself from family and society.

3. Severed Relationships

An abused child builds poor inter- personal relationships with the members of the society as well as with his family. The child becomes aggressive and withdraws himself from the society.

4. Poor Academic Performance

An abused child has no interest in studies. Hence his academic results are affected. He may be a slow learner and he may be a bully in the class. The child may be poorly dressed in the class and he may be careful about his appearance.

5. Smoking

Child abuse may develop the habit of smoking in the child. An abused child may tend to smoke more when anxious and frustrated. Smoking may give a sense of relaxation to the child and for sometimes he may forget the torture through which he has gone.

6. Alcoholism

An abused child may resort to alcoholism. His addiction to alcohol would be a kind of defense mechanism to hide his guilt, his inability to protest the abuser and his poor self image. Poor parent-child relationship, conflicts with siblings, undue comparisons etc may lead to addiction of alcohol.

7. Drug Addiction

Child abuse may lead to drug addiction to the victim. Due to depression or lack of interest, a child may take drugs. The child feels that by taking drugs, he may seek pleasurable experiences.

8. Prostitution

The child who is abused may engage in prostitution either to satisfy his physical needs or to gratify his social needs or to regenerate his low self esteem.

9. Juvenile Delinquency

An abused child most of the time is seen to be developing criminal tendencies. He may become a juvenile delinquent and he may resort to crimes like pick pocketing, kidnapping, murdering, looting, smuggling, robbery etc. By doing so the child may take a revenge on the society which gave him insult and abuse.

10. Poverty

Naturally if the child has poor academic performance and if he develops habits like smoking, drinking and drug addiction then he would not be able to develop his career. Due to this he will have low income or no income at all. This ultimately will lead to poverty.

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