It is a sad reality that childhood physical abuse exists today. While many children are physically abused every year, it is difficult to know exactly how many because of a lack of reporting the abuse. Yet this abuse has damaging short and long term effects on the children who are victims of the abuse.
The most obvious short term effect of physical abuse of children is medical problems. Children will incur a wide array of injuries from abuse, ranging from bruises and marks to broken bones and scars. In some circumstances, the child will not receive proper medical care as the abusive parent either does not believe the child needs care or does not want to bring the child to get medical care because of the signs of the abuse. However, the physical injuries are not the only result of the abuse. Children who are physically abused also have emotional problems. They become fearful of adults because of the past abuse which came from an adult. The children can also become angry over small things, see a decline in their social skills when interacting with peers, and also exhibit low self-esteem. Abused children also tend to see a drop in academic performance and begin to act out more in the classroom.
The long term effects of childhood physical abuse often vary depending on the age of the child at the time of abuse. For children who were abused at a very young age, portions of the child’s brain may not have grown or formed correctly. This causes brain development problems which leads to academic and cognitive problems. High risk behaviors, such as using drugs and alcohol as teenagers, are common among those who were physically abused as children. Individuals who were abused as children also have a higher tendency of becoming pregnant as teenagers. Most individuals who were abused as children tend to have difficulty forming and maintaining adult relationship. They have difficulty trusting new people as a result of the abuse they underwent as a child at the hands of someone they did trust. Victims of child abuse also tend to have low self-esteem and often deal with depression as adults. Perhaps most concerning is that adults who were abused as children have an increased potential to abuse children themselves.
When going through a divorce or custody case, parents who have physically abused their children do not receive positive treatment by the courts. The parent will lose placement of their child, usually with the non-abusive parent receiving full placement. It is also likely that the non-abusive parent will be given full custody of the children. The abusive parent will also have to make child support payments to the non-abusive parent. If you are going through a custody or divorce case and feel your former spouse has falsely accused you of physically abusing your child, contact our Milwaukee attorneys right away. With over 25 years of experience in family law, the lawyers at John T. Fields and Associates will help fight these false charges and ensure you retain your visitation and custodial rights.
Protecting children from abuse should by a parents main goal. If a spouse is abusive, a parent should look to get themselves and the child out of the relationship. Physical abuse of children has both short and long term effects on a child’s life and parents should do everything they can to protect their children from those damaging effects. If you are going through a divorce or child custody case and feel your spouse has abused your child, contact our office right away so that we can get the courts involved to protect you and your children.