Child Abuse: Impacts And Causes



Sexual Abuse of over 500 boys in Afghanistan. Picture courtesy Facebook
Sexual Abuse of over 500 boys in Afghanistan. Picture courtesy Facebook

Child abuse/violence against children comes in all forms of violence against minors under 18. It can be physical, sexual, emotional, or neglect. These could also include commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking and
Child labor. Children are easy targets because they are incapable of offering much resistance.

Sexual abuse of children is a historical phenomenon. This is now a global problem and happens everywhere. It became the object of research only recently because public opinion about the issue has changed significantly.

According to a report by the World Health Organization, globally, around 1 billion children aged 2-17 have experienced abuse in one year.

Despite changed public opinions and the realization of masses about the issue, the numbers represented by different organizations such as WHO, UNICEF show that the extent of the problem is underestimated. A report by UNICEF estimates that over 120 million children since 2014 have been affected by child abuse.

These numbers do not even represent the true extent of the problem, primarily because not all the cases are reported. 1 out of 3 tells no one (THORN,2017).

Behind this could be the feeling of guilt, shame, vendetta, distrust in institutions and services. Only one thing is sure that millions of children suffer from this adverse problem; a long-term solution to this is the need of the time.


Abuse has lifelong effects on the well-being and health of children. It causes stress, which is associated with a disruption in early brain development.

Mental health is another outcome. People exposed to violence at an early age, are more likely to adopt habits of alcohol misuse, involve in high-risk sexual activities, which result in anxiety and depression. This leads to multiple other problems, such as unintended pregnancies, induced abortions, and suicides.

Children who have experienced sexual abuse are more likely to perpetuate the cycle of violence, passing on the cycle of violence to future generations.


The root causes of child abuse are very complex. It includes social, economic, and cultural factors. According to a report by WHO, all these factors are connected, and one can lead to another.

Some of the critical risk factors are;

Biological and personal aspects such as age, sex, lower education, having mental health problems. Also, Harmful use of alcohol and drugs and a history of exposure to violence are some of the individual factors.

Poor parenting is also one of the reasons and lack of emotional bonding between children and parents. Family dysfunction and separation, early or forced marriages, are some close relation factors.

Such as high population, poverty, post-conflict situations, weak governance, and poor law enforcement are some of the community factors.


According to UNICEF data from 2017 regarding 27 countries shows that out of 10 who have reported forced sexual relations, nine say that they were victims of close family members. It has emerged that mostly the culprits are close family members, relatives, parents, and even school teachers.

Research shows that people who experienced abuse at an early age are more likely to commit abuse, not all of them.


The trauma caused by abuse is not curable, but it is recoverable. The planned and systematic steps that address all the interrelated risk factors can prevent violence. There is no single solution to this problem. Sensitization of parents, teachers, students, media professionals, judiciary, and police on sexual health rights can help prevent violence.

Also, it can happen by modifying cultural norms that permit sexual abuse of children. Better response and support services will also help prevent the damage and even eradicate the mistrust in institutions and organizations.

Society fosters this evil at every social and class level. There is no solution because it is hard to trace, which makes it one of its kind with no radical ‘solution’ to stop this adverse cycle with its deep connections with psychological segments of unknown individuals.

Lack of research material is one of the biggest problems around the globe. One of the reasons for this lack of interest is the access of researchers to the subject.

Governments around the globe must recognize it as a public health issue and fund researches.

The WHO, with ten international organizations, presented a seven-step INSPIRE plan. Each letter stands for one strategy, and most have shown preventive effects. This needs coordinated, continued, rational, and real actions free from morality, religion, and rituals.

Related – Sexual Abuse Of Over 5000 Boys in Afghanistan; Probe Begins

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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