The impact of child abuse has far-reaching consequences. It can affect the children thoughout their lives in the form of substance abuse and mental disorders, as well as becoming abusive offenders themselves. Abuse is typically seen in four forms: physical, emotional, sexual and neglect. Whatever the form of abuse, the quality of life for the abused child can be shattered.
Many victims of abuse feel fear and shame, and bury themselves into an isolation of low self-esteem. Some young adults feel unworthy of having a normal life because of the humiliation they have experienced, thus the possibility of having negative relationships can increase into a destructive pattern of co-dependency as adults. Various research studies have consistently shown a connection between child abuse and mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.
However, there is help and treatment available through various forms of therapy. Acknowledging abuse is an important first step in treatment because it breaks the secrecy and shame associated with abuse, and can have a healing effect. Talking to a professional about abuse will empower the victim with healthy coping skills. Once the victim realizes that the abuse was not their fault, the healing can begin. Also, it is important for victims to know that they are not alone. Journaling thoughts and feelings can be healing because it is a way to put awful memories to rest. Being able to write about ones thoughts is therapeutic. Stifling an abuse victim comes with too high a price, because this person needs to come out of the darkness; therefore silence about abuse should never be an option.
Mindfulness is also a helpful. Through various meditation techniques, it teaches one how to relax, when anxiety rears its ugly head. Acceptance of negative thoughts without reacting to them is key to successful relaxation therapy.
Most abuse comes from someone whom a child trusts and loves, thus the child is brainwashed into thinking that this kind of unacceptable behavior is okay, and a normal way of life. One can overcome this illness. Abuse may have robbed the victim of self-esteem, but there are ways to overcome this feeling. Once the victim realizes the impact of abuse on their lives, he or she may have to make a choice to forgive, so they can be free from the abuser as well as the abuse itself.
Growing up with any form of abuse can cause hidden detrimental behaviors to form that others will not notice, unless they know the signs. So, it is important that society continues to educate and recognize the serious impact of abuse.