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Child Abuse and Damage

By Punkerslut

Image by NiD
Image: "Lilgoth2" by NiD

Start Date: Friday, February 29, 2002
Finish Date: Friday, February 29, 2002

"In my judgment, no human being was ever made better, nobler, by being whipped or clubbed." -- Robert Green Ingersoll, Cruelty in the Elmira Reformatory

     Child Abuse has never been an acceptable practice in the heart of any humane person. It prepares the next generation for brutality and barbaric behavior -- what is called by its advocates as "discipline." Striking the flesh of an undeveloped child for the sake of achieving an objective is the most unsophisticated method of achieving that objective. It teaches cruelty and it inflicts scars on both the body and the mind. To think of the nights every abused child spends huddled in their room, pondering their worthlessness, the dark nights, the sting of a paddle -- to think of the tears and the blood torn from zestful youth for the sake of "discipline." Of all the cruelties committed, nothing can be so devastating as to bring a child into the world, only to teach it that it has no value, to beat it, to strike it, to make it know every abominable brutality ever known to man. Think of the trembling, small hands, afraid of their parents and always confused, always failing to understand why mother and father are quicker to deliver a painful touch than an affectionate touch. Of what viciousness it is needed to deal such blows, to deliver insurmountable pain, it is unspeakable to even think of the actions. By destroying the youth, riddling their lives with fear and distress, we accomplish nothing but the sorrows that will keep them up questioning the virtues of living.

     Science would confirm that such brutality is destructive. The light of reason has investigated the barbaric conditioning of Child Abuse. To quote one scientific article concerning child abuse and long term damage...

"THE AFTERMATH of childhood abuse can manifest itself at any age in a variety of ways. Internally it can appear as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or posttraumatic stress; it can also be expressed outwardly as aggression, impulsiveness, delinquency, hyperactivity or substance abuse. One of the more perplexing psychiatric conditions that is strongly associated with early ill-treatment is borderline personality disorder. Someone with this dysfunction characteristically sees others in black-and-white terms, often first putting a person on a pedestal, then vilifying the same person after some perceived slight or betrayal. Those afflicted are also prone to volcanic outbursts of anger and transient episodes of paranoia and psychosis. They typically have a history of intense, unstable relationships, feel empty or unsure of their identity, commonly try to escape through substance abuse, and experience self-destructive or suicidal impulses." [Scientific American, March 2002, Scars that Won't Heal: The Neurobiology of Child Abuse, page 70.]

     A plethora of horrific plights will infect those who are abused as a child. Abused children will suffer from suicidal thoughts and anxiety, pain and distress, feeling helplessness and worthlessness. It is clearly to be seen when under the microscope of science. There is no denying the truth of these statements.

"...what shall I say of children; of the little children in alleys and sub-cellars; the little children who turn pale when they hear their father's footsteps; little children who run away when they only hear their names called by the lips of a mother; little children -- the children of poverty, the children of crime, the children of brutality, wherever they are -- flotsam and jetsam upon the wild, mad sea of life -- my heart goes out to them, one and all." -- Robert Green Ingersoll, The Liberty of All, 1877

     I shall quote a rather extreme example of Child Abuse. The purpose of this example is not to render hearts merciless to the barbaric nature of this horrendous practice -- it is to provide a glimpse into what Child Abuse means, to provide an empathic touch of reason....

"In 1994 Boston police were shocked to discover a malnourished four-year-old locked away in a filthy Roxbury apartment, where he lived in dreadfully squalid conditions. Worse, the boy's tiny hands were found to have been horrendously burned. It emerged that his drug-abusng mother had held the child's hands under a steaming-hot faucet to punish him for eating her boyfriend's food, despite her instructions not to do so. The ailing youngster had been given no medical care at all. The disturbing story quickly made national headlines. Later placed in foster care, the boy received skin grafts to help his scarred hands regain their function. But even though the victim's physical wounds were treated, recent research findings indicate that any injuries inflicted to his developing mind may never truly heal." [Scientific American, March 2002, Scars that Won't Heal: The Neurobiology of Child Abuse, page 68.]

     In this instance, the amount of cruelty and abuse was appalling. The mother who created this being, this child, with vindictiveness and heartlessness abused this child. She endeavored to cause pain to the son who adored her. She made him tremble, she made him scared -- she filled him with the pains and the blights that some of us cannot even imagine. The figure of a mother in our world has been endowed with so many responsibilities; yet this mother has made herself an unforgivable and cruel ignoramus. Compassion and affection were the virtues of this mother. She was not quick to offer a glance that would warm your heart. Her vice was brutality. She was not, that is to say, a Humanitarian. From Child Abuse, many individuals are likely to become Antisocial. One scientific article remarks on this...

"ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR resulting from childhood abuse appears to be caused by overexcitation of the limbic system, the primitive midbrain region that regulates memory and emotion. Two relatively small, deep-lying brain structures--the hippocampus and the amygdala--are thought to play prominent roles in generating this kind of interpersonal dysfunction. The hippocampus is important in determining what incoming information will be stored in long-term memory. The principal task of the amygdala is to filter and interpret incoming sensory information in the context of the individual's survival and emotional needs and then to help initiate appropriate responses." [Scientific American, March 2002, Scars that Won't Heal: The Neurobiology of Child Abuse, page 71.]

     Studies show that those who have been abused as children have a 113% higher chance of showing symptoms of temporal lobe epilepsy, which disrupts the functioning of the hippocampus and the amygdala. A review of brain-wave abnormalities in electroencephalograms (EEGs) of 115 patients to a child and adolescent psychiatric hospital showed that brain-wave abnormalities were in 54% of patients with a history of early trauma but in only 27% of non-abused patients. The reviewers concluded, "The irregularities arose in frontal and temporal brain regions and, to our surprise, specifically involved in the left hemisphere rather than both sides, as one would expect." In a cross study of 17 adult survivors of Child Abuse and 17 healthy subjects, all matched for age, sex, race, handedness, years of education, and years of alcohol abuse, those who were abused as children had a 12% smaller left hippocampus than those of healthy adults, but the right hippocampus was at normal size. (Again, the hippocampus is important in determining what incoming information will be stored in long-term memory.) In 1997, Murray B. Stein of the University of California at San Diego conducted a study on 21 adult women who had been sexual abused as children and found that the left hippocampus in these women was significantly reduced. In 2001, Martin Driessen of Gilead Hospital in Bielefeld, Germany, and his colleagues reported a 16% reduction in hippocampus size and an 8% reduction in amygdala size in adult women with borderline personality disorder and a history of childhood mistreatment. [Scientific information procured from Scientific American, March 2002, Scars that Won't Heal: The Neurobiology of Child Abuse.] To quote Martin H. Teicher concerning Child Abuse and damage....

"Until recently, psychologists believed that mistreatment during childhood led to arrested psychosocial development and self-defeating psychic defense mechanisms in adults. New brain imaging surveys and other experiments have shown that child abuse can cause permanent damage to the neural structure and functioning of the developing brain itself." [Scientific American, March 2002, Scars that Won't Heal: The Neurobiology of Child Abuse, page 70.]

"I tell you the children have the same rights that we have, and we ought to treat them as though they were human beings. They should be reared with love, with kindness, with tenderness, and not with brutality. That is my idea of children." -- Robert Green Ingersoll, The Liberty of All, 1877

     Child Abuse is cruel and inhumane. To take someone so new, so vigorous, so fresh to the world, and strike them down with unbearable pains is vicious. Nothing can be said of it than that it is harshly unfair and barbaric in nature. Not only is it horrendous that children are abused, but it is often done by a trusted authority figure. It teaches the children that they should feel bad about themselves, that they deserve abuse because they do not hold a certain amount of worth. To take the initiative to bring a new life into this world and then to take no responsibility -- creating a life and causing it countless misery -- is one of the most horrific deeds imaginable. These are children of fear and abuse. The first thing they are taught is pain and the lesson comes from the one who reared them. There can be nothing so brutal and heartless as Child Abuse.


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