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THE EFFECTS

 

. Severity of the physical abuse:   How hard a child is struck is only one aspect of severity. The implement the child is struck with is also a factor. This does not mean that using an open hand or fist will result in fewer or lesser effects; the harm done to the child is measured both by physical injury and emotional injury.

Frequency of the physical abuse:   A single incident of physical abuse can result in severe trauma, but generally, the more often the physical abuse occurs the greater the impact on the child.

  Age of the child when physical abuse began:   The younger the child was at the onset of physical abuse, the greater the imprint, and thus, the greater the impact. This is particularly evident when the abuse continues throughout the child's life.

 Child's relationship to the abuser:   When a child has a very close relationship with his/her abuser, the feelings of betrayal are that much greater; the very person who is supposed to protect is instead hurting that child.

Availability of support persons:   When a child has no one to turn to, increased feelings of abandonment occur, which in turn adds to the physical child abuse effects.