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An Overview of Child Abuse

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

Writers: Lily Lee, Sara Nartayeva, Anna Millicevic, Haewon Yun

Visual: Hannah Veve

Child abuse is a serious social issue that can lead to severe life-long consequences. Prior to the 1970s, child abuse only referred to physical mistreatment. Now, it can be defined as any form of maltreatment that threatens the safety of a child through action or failing to act. Abusers can be present anywhere: from parents and caregivers at home, to teachers and coaches at school. They are usually people the child is already familiar with. It’s necessary to intervene in these situations early on as abused children have a higher chance of growing up to become abusers themselves. Thus, it is crucial to be well-educated about the issue of child abuse, how to spot it, and ways to get help to break the cycle and protect those involved.

Childhood and adolescence are critical stages of a child’s development, and abuse can disrupt their growth as a person. Some signs of abuse are frequent bruises in unusual places, not wanting to go home, social withdrawal, indications of emotional trauma, like fear, anger, or struggling to trust others.

Children are the future, and therefore it is necessary for those who are getting abused to be saved from their harmful environments as there is a potential for responding to their trauma in ways that can hurt more people. The extensive mental and physical damage that stems from being abused can hurt their productivity as an adult, not only affecting themselves but their community as well.

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