When a child in Oregon is a victim of abuse, the consequences last long into adulthood. Each child reacts differently to abuse which affects their long-term capabilities with processing it. A child left in the custody of someone who abuses their position extends beyond the physical.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway lists several consequences for children of abuse. The child’s physical health can suffer long-term consequences beyond the immediate concern. Children can experience high blood pressure, diabetes, brain trauma, functional limitations, vision problems, cancer, migraines and stroke. In addition, the child can undergo epigenetics where their expressed genes alter temporarily or permanently as a result of the abuse.
Abused juveniles are more prone to drug and alcohol use, unhealthy sexual practices, experience post-traumatic stress disorder, attachment difficulties and behavior that can result in adult criminality. While not every abused child is a statistic, they may experience some or all of these problems.
The NCBI conducted a study with 100 male inmates in southeastern Texas county jail. The conclusion of the report was that over half the inmates had experienced sexual abuse in their childhood before the age of 13. The long-term behavioral consequences of abuse can land the victim in jail. Many of them reported friends and family as “the most frequent perpetrators.”
Getting a child out of an abusive situation is the first key to their success both in the short-term and the long-term. Once out, the child can receive the medical, emotional and behavioral help they need to recover from the traumatic experiences.