Most of us find it difficult to imagine how anyone could abuse infants and children. We can?t comprehend it. It doesn?t to us. In the past, our society has tried to deny it and pretend that such abuse did not exist. However, child abuse has been of the most prominent and acknowledged problems in Americans society.
For many years, the enormity of the problem was simply inconceivable. Two factors brought the concerns and difficulties associated with abuse to the forefront of social consciousness. First was admitting the problems of child abuse. The second, acknowledging that abuse is present in families of all cultures, religions, and socioeconomic classes.1Experts now recognize abuse as a severe problem with potentially harmful and even devastating effects on children and adults who were abused children.2
Popular and clinical writings use varying definitions of child abuse. For the most part, child abuse includes physical harmful contact ranging from fondling to rape, neglect of physical well-being, and emotional harm through verbal abuse.3 Often children are victims of several forms of mistreatment.
Not every abused child develops emotional or psychiatric problems. However, child abuse does seem to increase the likelihood of several difficulties.4 This may include aggression toward or avoidance of
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