“Over the past 10 years,more than 20,000 American Children are believed to have been killed in their own homes by family members. That is nearly four times the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan” (Michael Petit, Founder of Every Child Matters). Child Abuse by Allison Krumsiek, explains the tragedy and trauma to young lives within the home. It brings a great awareness to the harm children face as a normal lifestyle and brings an awareness to what abuse really is.
Child abuse happens to children of all ages. It can be more than just physical damage. It can also be emotional or neglect in failure to meet the needs of the child. When emotionally abused, a child’s emotional needs are not met causing them damage psychologically. Insults, put downs, favoritism, and verbal harassment are all forms of emotional abuse. It can be acts that hurt a child that one may not inflict on them physically, such as confining them into an isolated space for long periods of time without food or water. It can also be threatening to hurt or damage something the child cares about such as a pet, parent, or other personal possession. It is stated, “Most child abuse experts consider repeated emotional abuse to be far more damaging and far more common than isolated physical abuse” (pg 25).
Physical damage is harming to the child’s body. It can even end in results that are fatal. Malnourishment, neglect, hitting, sexual acts, and putting the child in dangerous or hazardous environments are forms of physical abuse. Sometimes malnourishment is unintentional due to the family’s financial situation. They may fail in providing to their needs from a lack in money for food and clothes. Not every case of physical abuse is fatal, it depends on how severe the damage is. Little children have more vulnerability to the violence, and the damage could be more effective to their smaller and weaker bodies compared to an older child. Neglect is the last form of abuse. This can be when the guardian does not provide the child with the basic needs for survival. It is a combination of both physical and emotional abuse. Neglect can be not retrieving medical attention for a child’s injury, exposing child to illegal drugs (could be during pregnancy), and failure to provide food or shelter. If the caregiver has a psychological disability, they might fail to meet these needs of the child because they mentally are not able to and might not even be able to meet the needs of them self.
A topic that I found very interesting were the long-term effects of abuse on a child. Sometimes, the damage they experienced follows with them for the rest of their life. Even if eventually they heal physically, their emotions are forever impacted. One impact are trigger events. These can cause them to lose their control in thinking rationally. What happens is their bodies begin pumping full of adrenaline creating a fight-or-flight response. This adrenaline causes their heart rate to increase and a quicken their breathing pattern. “When a traumatized child is in a state of alarm they will be less capable of concentrating, they will be more anxious and they will pay more attention to “non-verbal” cues such as tone of voice, body posture and facial expressions” (pg 78). I did find this book pretty repetitive. It seemed to go over the same information repetitively.
Overall, this book was very educating. I was not very aware of abuse and what it could actually do to someone and learned all about it. It is very eye opening to the lifestyles some children actually face and it makes one feel very fortunate to not have that type of situation and empathetic to those poor children. I feel that very few people are educated on this and should read this book to gain a further understanding on the effects of abuse.