Each year millions of children throughout the world are victims of abuse. This abuse can be verbal, physical and even sexual. These incidences affect the normal development of children which include social-emotional, cognitive and even physical development. There are usually long-term effects of this abuse which is evident in lessened or sometimes the complete absence of a sexual functioning, or undiscriminating sexual behavior, vulnerability to repeated victimization, guilt, self-blame, and fear, anxiety, hostility and criminal tendencies. Behavior responses may be different between males and females. While males might fight or flight in such a situation, the females might not adopt this attitude which encourages the person who is abusing them to repeat his/her abuse repeatedly over many years.
Some children are made to feel that they are in some way to blame for this abuse, which gives them a guilt complex which might last throughout their lives. Other children might be told that this happens everywhere and are warned not to tell anyone or they will be punished. Most studies that explored the behavior of abused children found that these children were usually more aggressive with their peers. It was also found that boys cope much better at overcoming their negative feelings than girls, and are more likely to grow up as normal adults.
It was also found that females who were victims of abuse usually tend to overprotective of their younger siblings in an effort to prevent the same abuse being perpetrated on them. In most cases, people who have been abused as children usually adopt the same abusive behavior when they get married and have children of their own. If their parents were in a violent relationship, then the chances of their adopting the same attitude towards their spouse are much greater than those children who have had a normal and happy childhood. Child neglect is the failure of a parent or other person with responsibility for the child to provide needed food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision to the degree that the child’s health, safety, and well-being are threatened with harm.
Neglect is also a lack of attention from the people surrounding a child, and the non-provision of the relevant and adequate necessities for the child’s survival, which would be a lacking in attention, love, and nurture. Neglected children may experience delays in physical and psychosocial development, possibly resulting in psychopathology and impaired neuropsychological functions including executive function, attention, processing speed, language, memory and social skills. Researchers investigating maltreated children have repeatedly found that neglected children in foster and adoptive populations manifest different emotional and behavioral reactions to regain lost or secure relationships and are frequently reported to have disorganized attachments and a need to control their environment.