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According to the study of Royal College of Psychiatrists (RSPSYCH, 2020) an action or act that results in emotional harm, injury, or death of a child is identified as child abuse. Children are usually abused by someone within their family circle including their sisters, brothers, parents, familiar adult or babysitters. Based on this, sexual, neglect, psychological, emotional, physical abuse or exploration are considered as some of the major forms of maltreatment that are subjected to children around the world. On the other hand, witnessing an act of abuse or domestic violence also imparts a sufficient amount of trauma on the children. In the United Kingdom, a report by the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) (Office for National Statistics (ONS), 2020) revealed that before the age of 16 years, at least one in five adults aged 18-74 years have experienced one form of child abuse in their life. Additionally, physical abuse has been experienced by at least 1 in 100 adults aged 18-74 years before the age of 16 years. With respect to this, these children are deprived from clothing, shelter or sufficient quantities of food. On the other hand, a report on Child abuse offences England and Wales presented by Statista (2020) revealed that there have been some incidents when child abuse was reported by children however it was not given any consideration and no actions were taken against the acts. In relation to this, various researchers have reported that child abuse greatly reduces the quality of life of children. It imparts negative impact on their education, health and current or future relationships. Through the findings of his study Busso et al. (2017) revealed that majority of the adults find it difficult to cope with life challenges or stressors based on their history of child abuse. On the other hand, children who have history of abuse grow up repeating the same acts or find it challenging to be a good parents themselves. They are often found struggling with criminal behavior, drug or alcohol issues or self-harm. In addition to this, symptoms of anxiety in adulthood both in community or clinical samples have been observed among those who have history of child abuse. Through the findings of his study, Bellis et al. (2018, p.792) evaluated that the physical and psychological development of a children along with the growth of their brain takes a major toll due to abuse. This aspect in turn leads towards the occurrence of major or minor psychological problems such as low self-esteem, depression, stress, fear, isolation or high-risk behaviors such as drug abuse or self-harm. A report by NAPAC (National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC, 2020) revealed that it is five times more likely for children who have been victims of sexual abuse to be diagnosed with anxiety disorder. On the other hand, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias or panic disorders have been identify as other common mental illnesses that are prevalent in children who have been a victim of sexual abuse during their childhood. Emotionally neglected children are slow to learn to walk or talk, they have feeding problems, they are either spontaneous or find it hard to be passive in situation. On the other hand, they find it hard to develop close relationships with people or they tend to be over-friendly with strangers. Additionally, it has been reported by the study of Tiyyagura et al. (2019, p.985) that children who have suffered abuse fail to go along with other children of the same age. In addition to this, subjecting a child to emotional abuse makes it difficult for them to concentrate on anything thus they get distracted easily that in turn affects their grades at school. In relation to the impact of child abuse on future relationships, Runyon et al. (2019) identified that children with a history of abuse suffer from challenges in regulating their emotions. They grow up without the safety of a secure attachment relationship thus they end up having low self-worth and fail to maintain lasting relationships. They end up becoming bullies or become highly wary or cautious of adults around them. On the other hand, often children repeat the cycle in their future relationships by displaying an abusive or aggressive behavior. With respect to this, a study by Fong et al. (2020) Identified that it is essential to deliver effective psychological interventions to children with history of child abuse in order to break the cycle of negative series of events with them. Moreover, the interventions must be targeted on how to develop the required developmental needs of children and assure them the safety of developing close and friendly relationships with family and strangers in the future.
The rationale to conduct this study is to bridge the gap in knowledge of parents, families, teenagers, children’s and healthcare professionals regarding the provision of effective interventions and strategies for children with a history of child abuse. As per the study of Himmerich, S.J., Seligowski, A.V. and Orcutt (2019, p.619) children with a history of emotional, physical and mental abuse are less likely to have strong relationships in their future. The trauma to which they are subjected reduces their confidence and trust in people that in turn affects their relationship in the future that gradually lead towards the incidence of common mental illnesses (Afifi et l., 2017, p.493). Therefore, this factors has been identified as another rationale to conduct this dissertation in order to increase awareness of people regarding the interventions that can be incorporated to mitigate the challenges faced by children with a history of child abuse. This dissertation will establish a database of moral practice so that parents and care-giving services will be able to deliver efficient interventions to children to improve the confidence and trust in their future relationships.
The objectives of this research are highlighted below:
To evaluate the emotional, physical, and mentally impact of child abuse.
To explore the link between child abuse and future relationships
Following research questions have been formulated that the researcher aims to answer through the findings of this study. The questions are described below:
Q1. What is the emotional, physical and mental impact of child abuse?
Q2. What is the link between child abuse and future relationships?
This study is of prime significance to the physicians, health and social care providers, nurses, students, researchers within the healthcare system along with parents. The extracts from this study will enhance the awareness of parents and healthcare providers regarding the provision of effective interventions to children suffering from physical and psychological challenges due to their history of child abuse. As per the study of Busso et al. (2017) children are subjected to abuse in physical, sexual and emotional form. Moreover, approximately 5 thousand children run away from their home every year in order to escape from abuse. Thus, with the help of different strategies and interventions highlighted in this research, the health and social care providers and parents will gain sufficient knowledge and awareness on how to address the physical and emotional challenges of children and provide them effective management to prevent the strains in their future relationships.
The mini dissertation is divided into 3 chapters of Introduction, literature review, methodology.
The chapter one of the study offers a background on the physical, psychological and mental challenges of child abuse along with its impact on the future relationships. Furthermore, the chapter discusses the aim and objectives of the research along with the research question and the significance of the study.
The chapter 2 of literature review presents an all-inclusive summary of all the existing researches and identifies the gaps, trends and debates in the research to clarify the nature of the proposed objectives.
The chapter 3 methodology aims to explain the outcome of the research by reflecting on the method, approach and philosophy of the research. Furthermore, it highlights the technique used for data analysis, the criterion for inclusion and exclusion, limitations, search strategy along with ethical considerations.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]