Child abuse is one of the most egregious types of crimes. Children look to adults for safety, security, love, and acceptance. When those expectations are short cut due to abuse, serious consequences can and often do occur. Some of the most serious effects of child abuse in infants are learning disabilities and behavioral problems. These are the most benign symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome. More serious complications are blindness and loss of hearing. Some children develop Cerebral Palsy and may have difficulty walking and may experience tremors, jerking, loss of balance, and coordination.
In many cases a child who has been shaken will go into a permanent coma. Many in this situation die early deaths.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 905,000 children in the United States were victims of child abuse or neglect. This can have effects that can last a life time if not for generations to come
Studies have shown a direct relationship between severe family dysfunctions and poor health. Adults who have survived these types of traumas are at higher risk for allergies, arthritis, breathing problems, high blood pressure, and stress related ulcers.
In one long term study, eighty percent of young adults who were abused as children were diagnosed with at least one psychiatric disorder at the age of twenty one. Many of them presented with anxiety disorders, depression, dissociative disorders, eating disorders, and suicidal tendencies, ADHD, and post traumatic stress disorder.
It’s estimated that one third of adults who were abused as children will abuse their own children.
Societal implications include increased criminal activities. Enormous funding goes into criminal case costs, mental illness treatment, drug and alcohol abuse, and domestic violence.
Imagine having to live out your life accompanied by depression, anxieties, psychosis, possible brain damage, and a compromised ability to comprehend your world. Many who fall into this category are unable to keep jobs, maintain healthy families, or establish solid community roots. Life for them, for us, can be a challenge at best. Some of the less fortunate live with no hope, no social outlets, and no buffer for their pains. Let’s reach out with comfort, encouragement, and the intent to build healthy families and communities.
Remedies for this problem rests in the building of healthy individuals, families, and communities. It seems we have lost the investment in a connection to faith and religion. Attendance at churches has dropped to 46% in the United States and to 2% in Europe. A lack of attention to bask morality is the result of this dearth of spiritual connection.
Individual health is suffering a blast with an obesity epidemic looming large.
New technology carries with it the risk of increased isolation. We’ve become hooked on computers, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. One to one communication risks becoming a lost art.
Violence in the media puts us at risk of becoming desensitized to aggressive acts. The average child will have witnessed thousands of murders on television by the age of eighteen and thousands more via violent videos.
The call for development of individual, family, and community health is huge.
Let’s get at the bottom of this crisis and create a world that embraces children in the warm cocoon of safety.