Child Abuse and Later Maladjustment in Adulthood Essay

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In this paper, the researcher will address the adjustment issues often seen in individuals who were abused early in their childhood. Abuse can be traumatic for any individual but it is especially troubling when endured at one of the most vulnerable developmental stages of the person’s life. Although intervention has been known to help dramatically, children can be easily manipulated into keeping the abuse a secret. For this reason, an emphasis is placed on the importance of professionals constantly interacting with children, being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse, so that any suspicions can be immediately reported. But what happens to those individuals who never got the intervention they required, or even when they do, how…show more content…
This suggests that this group of victims has only recently began to be recognized by the legal system. Due to the newfound concern about this issue, especially by human rights professionals, there have been a few legislative revisions. As anecdotal evidence dictates, historically, “many cases went through what is known as the “arrangement” or out of court settlement where parents received cash or goods in exchange for the child’s wellbeing (Hornick & Matheson, 2007).” Now all reported cases are handled through a trial process. Forms of Abuse Sexual Abuse. According to the results of a Youth Health Survey, which was administered to 1,526 Saint Lucian students aged 10 to 19, 1 out of every ten students were sexually abused in 2006. Females (14.2%) were twice as likely to experience abuse as males (6.3%). There appeared to be no difference among the various age groups (Hornick & Matheson, 2007). It is difficult to provide proper estimates as to the extent of this issue, as children tend to keep sexual abuse a secret due to intimidation by the perpetrator, fear, confusion or embarrassment. Physical Abuse. The trend of physical abuse in Saint Lucia seems to remain at a constant rate of 50 to 60 cases a year. A UNICEF report indicated that in the country, the preferred form of punishment for approximately 30% of parents caring for children under age 12 was corporal punishment. Approximately half of the time this punishment involved hitting
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