"For children: "Abuse" means any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or sexual injury or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child's physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired. Abuse of a child includes acts or omissions. Corporal discipline of a child by a parent or legal custodian for disciplinary purposes does not in itself constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child.
For adults: "Abuse" means any willful act or threatened act by a relative, caregiver, or household member which causes or is likely to cause significant impairment to a vulnerable adult's physical, mental, or emotional health. Abuse includes acts and omissions."
In the United States, there were an estimated 678,810 children abused just in the year 2012 alone. About 1 in 7 girls and 1 in 25 boys will be sexually abused before they reach the age of 18.
( Resurance http://www.fncac.org/index.php?s=3065)
Perpetrators often consist of family members, friends, and acquaintances; not necessarily strangers.
The effects of abuse can be so damaging to a child that it can cause so many health issues: altering stress responsivity neurobiological and psychological development and altering adult behavior patterns. These individuals experience a greatly increased risk of mood, anxiety and personality disorders throughout adult life.
( Resuance http://www.asca.org.au/About/Resources/Impact-of-child-abuse.aspx)
I have found that many people are really trying to prevent childhood abuse. There are so many non-profit organizations and volunteers to help to get the word out.
We have grown a lot in wanting people to be aware of abuse and help save lives.
In the 1950’s, abuse was not spoken of in homes; people looked away, private schools were permitted to hit children for misbehavior, beating and other forms of abuse were not looked upon as abuse but as a form of discipline in families' homes.
By 1982, the Child Abuse National Help Hotline came into effect. Since that time, over 2 million calls have been made to help save the lives of children; while we are becoming so much more aware of preventing childhood abuse, there is not much discussion on the results of childhood abuse, such as depression and other forms of disorders, nor does it seem to be much information regarding the effects of a disorder such as D.I.D. (Dissociative Identity Disorder) formerly known as M.P.D.( Multiple Personality Disorder).
D.I.D. is a common defense or reaction to stressful or traumatic experiences. Severe or repeated trauma may result in a person developing a dissociative disorder, which could lead to a separation of "two or more distinct identities or personality states."
(http://en..wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociative_identity_disorder ) But in the media, such as in the movies, there is a false impression of what a person with D.I.D. can be like, which can possibly leave people to have a false understanding and labeled incorrectly or being compared to another disorder such as Schizophrenia.
P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is classified as an anxiety disorder where a person can recall or re-experience the trauma, this is also another factor that many abuse survivors have that are left untreated for years.
I believe a child's brain that has been abused repeatedly can take on the effects just like the effects of a person coming back from war, but these I find are never truly discussed. I believe there should be more awareness as well as education in the school systems and colleges around the world. I believe that people with this disorder such as D.I.D. should not be treated like a mental case but with sympathy and compassion.
Patrick Rothfuss (an American writer of epic fantasy and college lecturer.) said “There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow, it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.”
In my opinion adults with depression, or other forms of disorders relating to childhood abuse are treated as someone that is a criminal or on drugs. I have been to several behavioral health hospital that combine a person with an addiction to a person with depression and are treated as a criminal. They are patted down for narcotics, placed on all forms of medication, removed from medications without being treated properly , which in itself can cause damaging effects, followed around by guards when they simply came to the hospital for help and it clearly states on their hospital chart that they are not in the facility for drug abuse. From personal experience abuse victims have difficulty finding help from the state, if they are not working, have no children, and are under the age of thirty. For example I have heard multiple stories of children that are removed from the foster care system once they hit eighteen years of age, many go into the world with untreated symptoms such as PTSD, Depression, Suicidal thoughts and or with a disorder that are not found out until much later in life, some become homeless, have a chemical addiction or try to commit suicide multiple times before they receive the proper care.
I think its time we become aware of the side affects of abuse as a child grows into adulthood. I think its time that they are treated with love, understanding not as if there the problem, but as survivors trying to cope in world that is broke but give them hope that they can be restored back to health. Continue to help children that you may know that are being abused by reporting it to the Child abuse hotline Calling 1-800-962-2873
Mental health affects us all. How we think and feel about our lives and ourselves has an impact on our behavior and how we cope in tough times. Mental health problems are very common and include conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, anorexia, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, bulimia, depression, hyperactivity, insomnia, mania, narcolepsy, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, paranoia, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, stress, suicide and Tourette's. Resource: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/categories/mental_health (Mental Health News)