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Child Abuse A Lifetime Sentence

2092 words - 9 pages

Child Abuse a Lifetime Sentence
Jolene Dancliff
Dan Price

Child Abuse a Lifetime Sentence

Once into adulthood, victims of child abuse search for some form of coping mechanisms to forget or mask the trauma and the pain of child abuse. According to Shub & Cabrera (2011) “Every week 60,000 cases of child abuse or neglect are reported in the United States, and 3 million reports of child abuse or neglect are being filed every year” (p.1). Approximately 50% of child victims abuse drugs or alcohol. (Shub & Cabrer, 2011). The abuse often stems from a response to guilt or a negative self-image. Although as serious as child neglect is, physical abuse more often ...view middle of the document...

We really do not know any different. Because of these negative lessons, we do not learn how to maintain long term successful relationships. We do not know what it is like to have a healthy and loving connection to another person. Therefore, survivors often have many relationships throughout their lives, most of them unsatisfying. In their research of married couples who had experienced child maltreatment, DiLillo, Peugh, Walsh, et al. (2009), suggests that marriages do not last as long as a result of their previous trauma.
The ability to function in a stable and satisfying sexual relationship is often difficult if not impossible for survivors. My friend Sheila, (not her real name due to a request for anonymity, April 24, 2012) explained to me that “sexual relations always led to flashback or recurrence of memories during the act. I would be unable to be satisfied and felt dirty when the act was completed.” This is just another trauma that these survivors have to deal with. This often leads to unsatisfactory relationships which tragically will end rather quickly.
The most serious consequence of child abuse is the emotional and stress related disabilities that accompany the child throughout their lives. I personally have seen the results of these consequences. Emotional disorders and anxiety often consume these individuals. In some situations, these result in the individual taking their own lives to escape the ever present depression. I am a survivor of child abuse. I have often thought that it would be so much easier to just end it all rather than deal with the sometimes overwhelming anxiety that associates to the abuse. There are days that I have woken up and actually contemplated taking my own life. I do not, I know what that does to the people left to deal with the loss. Men are known to commit suicide more often than women, (Mironova, Rhodes, Bethell, Tonmyr, Boyle, Wekerle, & Leslie, ) (2011) (p1). There seems to be no known cause for this at this time and more research is required to determine the exact reason for this. There does seem to be several studies that suggest that suicide is more often a result of child abuse if there is a history of mental disorders. PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is the result of years of abuse. The perpetrator may have been abused themselves and suffered from mental disorders as well. We know from experience that the cycle of child abuse is often generational. An abuser may have been a victim of child abuse themselves. Although, as a victim of child abuse myself, I would never have done that to my own children. Without seeming to be biased, I personally feel that this is a cop out. I do not believe that if you have suffered from abuse that you would want to do that to your own children. However, I realize that statistics show that this is the case. This is just my personal opinion.


Caple, C., & Schub, T. (2011, November). Sexual Abuse in...

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