Abused Children Can Feel the Impact Later in Life
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
In the US, there are approximately 3 million reports of child abuse and neglect each year involving 6 million children, according to the National Children’s Alliance.
Did you know that children who are abused are at greater risk for developing mental health problems later in life?
However, the severity of these problems may depend on the time that abuse first began and how long it lasted.
According to a study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Child Abuse and Neglect, abuse occurring in children age five or older may have the most harmful impact on their mental health. The study indicated that these children are more likely to develop symptoms of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“With the use of not only the protective factors, identifying risk factors and providing supportive services can help not only parents and caregivers, but also professionals. At every level, we can deal with the adverse effects of child abuse and neglect in an effort to negate the impact, and look for early signs of mental health conditions throughout the child’s developmental stages,” said Dr. Monica Lallo, Senior Vice President of Prevention, Youth & Education Services.
We need to first recognize child abuse, which can be physical, emotional, sexual, or involve neglect of a child by someone who has responsibility for the child. It is common for more than one type of abuse to occur at a time.
It is also important to note that a single sign does not mean maltreatment has occurred, but if signs appear repeatedly or in combination a closer look at the situation may be warranted.
Dr. Lallo added,“Individuals in the community can play a role in helping families nurture their children to become healthy and productive. Most parents or caregivers don't set out to harm their children. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) contribute to the dilemma that has been proven through evidence-based research. There are factors, such as mental or chronic health problems, struggle with substance abuse, anxiety disorders and a mere lack of support, that often times lead to child abuse or neglect.”
Parenting can be considered one of the most challenging parts of our lives. At Acenda, we recognize this month every year. It is a core part of our mission to support all communities and the well-being of children and their families. We offer over 100 different programs to support children, adults, and families. Last year, those programs served 14,926 children and families. Our Prevention and Parent Education programs range from maternal health support, young-parent guidance, family unity, and community-based programming.
Our team of experienced staff work with families to strengthen their family-unit, instill life skills, and connect them to community resources that will ultimately reduce the chance of child abuse and neglect. For more information, call 844-422-3632.