NAASCA Posters / Essays Celebrating April as National Child Abuse Awareness Month

Child Abuse lives everywhere -- don't be afraid to talk about it
9 of 30 ..

  Child Abuse lives ..
...... in every community
...... and threatens every babe

The trauma experienced as a result of the sexual assault and physical abuse of children causes changes in brain development that are so significant that they last a lifetime. Abused children grow up to be adults who are prone to depression, anxiety, substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders. They are more prone to suicide. However, in recent years we have learned that abuse does more than wound self-esteem and break the spirit. It damages the very substance of the brain and how it functions.

In other words, the brain of the abused and traumatized youngster develops in a completely different manner than does that of a normally raised, nurtured child.

A major way by which childhood abuse disrupts normal brain activity is by diminishing its capacity to handle stress. Stress is more than the worry and distress we experience when the circumstances of life push us beyond our limits. The body's response to stress is a complex biological mechanism.

The emotional upheavals suffered by adults who were abused as children continue to wreak havoc on jobs and schooling. They lead to substance abuse. They devastate marriages. Thus, the innocent victims of child abuse continue to suffer as adults.

Perhaps the most tragic effect of child abuse is that adults who were abused as children, either physically, emotionally, or sexually, have a higher than expected risk of becoming abusers themselves. Thus, the cycle of abuse and suffering perpetuates itself.

Luckily there is plenty of capacity in the fully developed adult brain for repairs to occur during a diligent recovery. The brain can, in a word, heal.

We as a society must pursue every means to end the social cancer that reaches deep into the brains of children and across generations.

Please see:
The Bomb in the Brain
(be sure to watch video #3 - The Effects of Child Abuse)

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