How Child Abuse Can Cause Brain Injury

by tylercook on August 7, 2013

Several studies demonstrate that child abuse can cause serious brain damage and lifelong suffering. A number of children and adults have undergone testing to show how people suffer from psychological problems related to childhood abuse, trauma, neglect and sexual assault. Child abuse is nothing new, and it, unfortunately, continues today. Small infants often receive abuse and suffer lifelong disabilities as a result. Others are not as fortunate and die from their injuries. Whatever the abuse, there are serious and tragic repercussions associated with it. Here’s how to identify the repercussions and take action to intervene.

Long-Term Head Injury Damage

Neurobiological findings indicate that trauma to a child (physical abuse, neglect and sexual abuse) will lead to brain injuries. These findings conclude that the structure and chemistry of the brain will change. Children will exhibit behavioral and learning problems. In certain cases, early intervention can help decrease the amount of suffering and brain damage a child ensures.

The best intervention for certain abuse cases is to place the child in a loving environment. Some children are able to adapt, where others end up in the foster care system, unable to emotionally and psychologically cope with their abuse. Changes in the brain chemistry will impact the mood and behavior of an abused child. The majority of children that have been abused deal with depression, aggression and impulsive behavior as a result.

Head Injury Symptoms

If you suspect your child or a child you know has been abused, there are several traumatic brain injury symptoms to pay attention to:

Behavioral changes

Loss of consciousness



Scalp swelling



Unfortunately, infant child abuse is a serious problem that often leaves the child in a fatal situation. Shaken baby syndrome has devastating consequences, and many of the infants die as a direct result of the injuries sustained. Shaking a child back and forth will cause the brain to hit against the skull, leading to bleeding and swelling of the brain. If the child survives, they often suffer long-term brain injuries and may become disabled due to the abuse.

Steps to Take if You Suspect Head Injury

Take the child to a doctor immediately if you suspect abuse. The hospital staff will contact the police to report child abuse if they find injury symptoms consistent with child abuse. Contact the police, as well, if you suspect abuse. Removing the child from the household is important, as they need to be in a constructive environment where they will feel protected. Some children are able to flourish once they have been removed from the environment and given proper physiological counseling. Adults that have been abused as children often share their stories to help prevent this from happening to others.

Children require legal help if they have been abused. The individuals that hurt them should be punished for their actions and prevented from hurting others. Hiring an attorney is the best thing you can do to protect the child.

How to Seek Legal Action for Abuse

Each state has different laws pertaining to child abuse and neglect. If it is your child, and the other parent is the abuser, you have the right to ask the judge to appoint an attorney for your case. Some courts will appoint an attorney to the case even if both parties do not request one. This is done in the best interest of the child to help protect their legal rights.

To help prevent further abuse and to ameliorate the long-term consequences for the abused child, you must be stalwart in your resolve. If you suspect abuse even a little, look closely and constantly for signs of damage; contact a doctor or hospital; call the police, and request that an attorney be appointed, should a legal case ensue. The more that people follow these critical steps, the more likely it is that child abusers will be identified and brought to justice, and the effects on children will be lessened.




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