university of technology sydney

Child Abuse

Child abuse is a dire problem the world over. Like most things, in order to stop it, we need to learn about it. This essay details all the basic information about child abuse.

Definitions and causes

Child abuse comes in four major forms, namely sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect of any sort. Sexual abuse is when another person abuses a child for sexual stimulation or gratification, while physical abuse involves any violence or threats directed at a child. Emotional abuse includes behaviours such as name calling, shouting and insults. Neglect is when a caregiver does not provide food, clothing, shelter, medical attention, or anything else that a child needs for their well-being. The cause of child abuse is not a clear-cut matter. There are many factors that influence the likelihood that a child will suffer abuse, but none of them can be called causes as such. These contributing factors can be divided into those relating to the child, and those relating to its family. In terms of factors relating to the child, children who are premature, sickly, or suffer from some developmental delay are more likely to be abused. In terms of factors relating to the child’s family, children with socially isolated families, very young parents, parents with little support, or substance abusing parents are also more likely to suffer abuse. In addition, parents who come from abusive homes themselves are more likely to abuse their own children.


Child abuse has devastating consequences, and these can be divided into physical and psychological consequences. Physical consequences include ill health, impaired brain development, shortened lifespan, and injuries sustained as a direct result of abuse.Psychological consequences include impaired social development, impaired emotional development, impaired cognitive development, and mental illnesses such as depression.

Prevention and treatment

Preventing child abuse is obviously of vital importance, but it is not always an easy task. Common prevention strategies include support groups for parents, home visits by social workers, and programs that teach children about abuse. Some of these interventions do work well, but it is often very difficult to implement them due to a lack of resources. When prevention fails and children are abused, they need to be treated to help them recover as best as possible. The most common treatment for child abuse is some form of therapy to mitigate the damage caused, and help children to heal. Treatment also includes any medical treatment of injuries inflicted by the abuser, such as broken bones.

As mentioned above, child abuse is a devastating problem across the world, and anything that can be done to prevent it is essential for our children’s future.