Effects of Child Abuse

The Devastating Effects of Toxic Relationships and Abusive Parents



About: Effects of Child Abuse

Today in America we are seeing domestic violence and domestic abuse rise at alarming rates and the effects on our children are quite serious. It is estimated that over 5 million children witness domestic violence every year.



Behaviors and Disorders

Children who have witnessed the abusive parents’ violence in their homes have significant emotional behaviors such as anxiety, excessive crying, anger, psychosomatic disorders, emotional and mental disorders, depression, bed wetting, social development, emotional development, and chronic school issues.

Also children who witness family abuse can, and many times will grow up to be abusers themselves or victims of abuse.

Girls vs Boys

Although each child responds differently, girls tend to experience low self-esteem and are insecure and marry an abuser; while boys become aggressive and take on the role of an abuser, even at an early age. The boy exhibits his violence towards siblings, pets, school mates, and mother and even becomes the neighborhood bully.

Yet on the contrary, the young boy may take on responsibility for protecting the mother and siblings and when he is unable to he commits suicide or homicide or both. Statistics show that 63% of boys who murder their father are between the ages of 10-20.

Violence Repeated

Over time as young children witness abuse, they begin using rage, violence and attacking others to cope with their own fear and anxiety; when these behaviors don’t relieve them of their fears they start to use drugs and alcohol and sex to numb their pain.

Long term effects on child abuse and the toxic relationship of those who witness abuse are:

General Statistics and Effects of Child Abuse

  • A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds
  • More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse.
  • Approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4.
  • It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.
  • More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.
  • Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
  • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
  • About 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
  • The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion.
  • Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.
  • Abused teens are less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs.
  • 14% of all men in prison in the USA were abused as children.
  • 36% of all women in prison were abused as children.
  • Children who experience child abuse & neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violent crime.
  • One-third to two-thirds of child maltreatment cases involve substance use to some degree.
  • Children whose parent’s abuse alcohol and other drugs are three times more likely to be abused and more than four times more likely to be neglected than children from non-abusing families.
  • As many as two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children.
Statistics Adapted from childhelp.org

For more articles on the effects of child abuse and teen abuse please see:

Abusive Fathers

Abusive Parents

The Truth about Abused Wives

Bible Verses for Encouragement for Those in Abusive Situations

Help for Domestic Violence

Escaping Economic Abuse

How Abusive Words Hurt Us

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