How Childhood Abuse Can Subdue The Inner Child

Dr Nicholas Jenner

When we think about child abuse, our thoughts often stop at sexual abuse of minors. However, the term child abuse, often replaced by child maltreatment, has a broad spectrum of definition. The WHO defines it as follows :

“Child maltreatment, sometimes referred to as child abuse and neglect, includes all forms of physical and emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation that results in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, development or dignity. Within this broad definition, five subtypes can be distinguished – physical abuse; sexual abuse; neglect and negligent treatment; emotional abuse; and exploitation”.

Reliable statistics on global child abuse are difficult to come by but most reports highlight an increase in the last 25 years, especially in developed countries. Anyone who has been through and survived child abuse will identify with the emotional scars that are etched on the personality of the resulting adult, causing pain and turmoil and making relationships…

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