Slowly Ruining The Youth
“A child is a beam of sunlight from the Infinite and Eternal, with possibilities of virtue and vice, but as yet unstained.” (Abbott)
Children are the next generation and the key to the future but in many instances children are maltreated and abused. I have seen that rarely are the effects of child abuse given proper notice,especially on a psychological level ,even though an estimated “679,000 were victims of abuse and neglect nationwide” (U.S. Children’s Bureau)
Imagine being a child… Being young, learning hundreds of new things everyday, learning right from wrong, growing up. Now imagine being a child who is told every day that they are worthless.The only reason they are there is to be used at others discretion. Imagine being never comforted by your parents. Never spending quality time with other human beings.
A child like this; who has been psychologically abused or maltreated is robbed of their childhood. Some are forced to grow up tremendously quick and others are forced to revert back to infant ways. This is an outcome of a child’s brain being only partially developed. As seen in the picture below ;we see that a child who has been mentally abused has less brain activity in the temporal areas of the brain.
Studies show that children who have been abused mentally have an increased chance of detrimental outcomes in their adolescent and adults years. In their adolescent years an abused child may experience social anxiety disorder, depression, aggression, bipolar disorder, cognitive deficit, increased sexual behaviors and risks, and suicidal tendencies, among numerous other mental and physical illnesses.” A female child who has grown up in an abusive home is proven to have a two to three times greater chance of experiencing IPV(Intimate Partner Violence)” (Friedman,2010) A male who has grown up in a psychologically abusive manner is more likely to experience aggression towards his own family and children; known as the Mimetic theory.(Friedman,2010) These are just two of the effects an abused child may experience in their adult life.
As a child the brain is like a sponge. It takes in as much as it can so the child may grow learn to live independently. When a child is abused this process is altered in dangerous ways. We must nurture children, for their brains are still growing. Abuse wrecks the child’s foundation for a stable adolescence and adult lifestyle. Protect the children.
Friedman, K. (2010). Early Childhood Abuse and Neglect: Exploring the consequences, effects, and treatment. 4-5
Lyman Abbott, American Congregationalist minister
Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2015). Child maltreatment 2013: Summary of key findings. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau.