Child abuse


Effects on a child

The sustained abuse or neglect of children physically, emotionally or sexually can have major long-term effects on all aspects of a child’s health, development and well-being.

Sustained abuse is likely to have a deep impact on the child’s self-image and self-esteem, and on their future life.

Difficulties may extend into adulthood - the experience of long-term abuse may lead to difficulties in forming or sustaining close relationships, establishing oneself in the workforce and to extra difficulties in developing the attitudes and skills needed to be an effective parent.

It is not only the stressful events of abuse that have an impact, but also the context in which they take place. Any potentially abusive incident has to be seen in context to assess the extent of harm to a child and appropriate intervention.


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