Child abuse and Neglect.

Childhood abuse will not go away; the healing work will go on and get better.  

Discover what child abuse is; how to detect the signs, who is the principal affected and how to protect your child if you are concerned. 

What is child abuse?

 "Such as vulnerable and defenceless, pure and noble hearts, an innocent soul, and so bright and transparent eyes".   

Child abuse is an act carried out by another child or adult which affect significantly to a child.  It can be manifested such as sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Those events will be just as often about a lack of love, care and attention from parents and careers. 

It could be domestic abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, online abuse, physical and emotional abuse, child sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, bullying and cyberbullying, child trafficking, grooming, harmful sexual behaviour, 

What is neglect?

Let's focus on this critical subject.  Whatever form it takes, we know that neglect can be vast damaging to a child as physical abuse.  Negligence is an ongoing failure to meet a child's needs and is the most common form of child abuse.

Neglect use to happen when parents or carers are not able or won't meet a child's needs.  It might be because of lack of skills or support needed, and in some cases, it's due to other social and health issues such as mental health issues, drugs and alcohol problems or poverty.

The fact of being in a disadvantaged situation will often deal to experience more than one kind of abuse, as well as their difficult situation in their life.

Those unfortunate events happen over a period, rather than being a one-off event.  We estimated that millions of children are abused around the world each year.  

Children are neglected when they may not get love, care and attention from their parents. When are left hungry or dirty, without adequate clothing, shelter, supervision, medical or health care attention?  Children can be put in danger abandoned and left unprotected from physical or emotional harm. 

As a consequence,  they will often suffer from other abuses as well as making this issue last for longer. Neglect is considered dangerous, causing severe and long-term damage in some case death. 

Types of neglects

Child's neglect can be focused on four main points.

Physical neglect
Failing to provide for a child’s basic needs such as food, clothing or shelter. Failing to supervise a child adequately, or provide for their safety.

Educational neglect
Failing to ensure a child receives an education.

Emotional neglect

Failing to meet a child’s needs for nurture and stimulation, perhaps by ignoring, humiliating, intimidating or isolating them. It’s often the most difficult to prove.

Medical neglect
Failing to provide appropriate health care, including dental care and the refusal of care or ignoring medical recommendations.

Source: Horwath, 2007

Neglect is penalised by law and can have severe and long-lasting effects on children.  From denying the care they need, malnutrition, even leaving a child alone at home have a high risk of harm. In some case, it leads to a permanent disability. 

However, neglect in most cases it can be challenging to identify, making challenging to receive appropriate help and take early action to protect a child.

The next list shows some sign and symptoms which can be indicated there' s a significant problem.

Neglected children may present:

Poo appearance and hygiene. 
Health and development problems. 
Housing and family issues

Things you may notice

If you're worried and want to know if a child is being abused, watch out for any unusual behaviour. 

withdrawn, suddenly behaves differently, anxious, clingy, depressed,  aggressive,   problems sleeping, eating disorders, wets the bed, soils clothes, takes risks, misses school, changes in eating habits, obsessive behaviour, nightmares, drugs, alcohol, self-harm, thoughts of suicide.

The effects of neglect

Most of the Children who have been neglected could experience short and long-term effects that last throughout their life.

Those children struggle through their lives to maintain healthy relationships with other people including their children. 

Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic disorder and mental health problems are some of the issues that children are likely to develop during their adulthood. 

In most of the cases, young people may also get involved in risky activities such as leaving home, breaking the law, abusing drugs or alcohol, or getting involved in dangerous relationships - putting them at risk of sexual exploitation.

Effects on relationships and attachment

Since very early a child is affected by a parent or carer's behaviour.  The child feels attached to a primary caregiver who is usually mum or dad and in some many cases another family member or carer.  'This effect is described by attachment theory'.

When there is a weak attachment to the child and parent, they use to have a bad relationship. In most cases, the adult may assault verbally or physically their parents. 

Poor attachment can significantly affect the relationships that people have throughout their lives, including how they interact with their children. Early intervention can change attachment patterns, reducing harm to a child and helping them to form positive attachments in adulthood.

(Howe, 2011)