I wanted to share this article that I came across today regarding the effects of psychological abuse on young children and its severity. Anything stated in this blog is not meant to be taken as fact but only as my personal opinion of what’s being discussed in the article. I welcome anyone that would like to add their thoughts as well.
One of the definitions of psychological according to http://www.dictionary.com is as follows:
of, pertaining to, dealing with, or affecting the mind, especially as a function of awareness, feeling or motivation.
Abuse is given a total of five definitions. They are as follows.
to use wrongly or improperly, misuse.
to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way.
to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign.
to commit sexual assault upon.
to deceive or mislead.
So, in my own understanding and the way that my brain processes things, my personal definition of psychological abuse is the assault on ones mental stability.
This article states that ‘psychological abuse was recognized over 25 years ago, the researchers said few studies have looked at the rates of psychological abuse. Previous studies suggest about 8 to 9 percent of women and 4 percent of men in the US and Britain said they suffered from severe psychological abuse in childhood.’
I am going to go off track slightly to give some insight to my thought process. I remember when I was in college, in my Intro to Psych class, we were required to write a ten page self analysis paper. I remember going to do research on the subject matter of psychological abuse and maltreatment at the library. There was a very limited amount of reference material on the subject and I had to rely on a lot of my own personal experience. Thankfully my psych teacher accepted my personal inclusions in the paper.
Eight to nine percent of women and the four percent of men that the article discusses seems like a small number. Please take into consideration the massive amounts of people that don’t come forward to discuss their stories openly. Men (more often than women) choose not to talk about things like abuse. They prefer to move forward and forget it. Where as, women want to openly discuss their issues in order to process any lingering feelings. Here is a population example of the sheer numbers of people that have come forward with their stories…
Estimated population in the united states in 2011 (information gleaned from the U.S. Census Bureau) was over 311 Million. What is 9% of that population number? The answer is 27,990,000 million people. Granted this number is subject to male vs. female ratios and is simply being used as an example of quantity.
In most cases, I believe that if someone is willing to physically abuse a child, they are just as likely to psychologically abuse them. Depending on the person, one type of abuse is more dominant than the other. It just depends on what that person feels to be the worse of the two. Even the article discusses this. The article states:
The child said that the dad says things about me that make me feel badly, worse than the hitting.
Today, there is considerably more material on the subject matter of psychological maltreatment since it’s becoming more and more apparent in our society. What do you feel is the worse of the two: mental abuse or physical abuse? And should one be given more importance over the other?
These questions are meant to resemble a double edged sword. My opinion is that neither is worse than the other because the end result is the same… ABUSE and they should both be equally important. However, I feel that our society is moving too slowly in rescuing the multitudes of children that are in abusive homes.