By: Steven R. Tracy
Abuse is unique in the way it damages people because it literally wounds the soul. The ravages of abuse are deep-seated and often lifelong. This is evidenced in many forms of pathology which ultimately have their root in abuse. Abuse is one of the most significant sources of emotional, physical, and relational damage. For instance:
- Recent neurological research has definitely shown that early childhood abuse, neglect, and witnessing family violence permanently alters and damages the brain, thus leading to a host of long-term individual and social pathologies.
- The annual cost of intimate partner violence in the United States is estimated to be $8.3 billion (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003).
- Adult prostitutes are three to four times more likely than nonprostitutes to have been physically or sexually abused in childhood.
- 70% of all psychiatric emergency room patients report a history of childhood physical or sexual abuse.
- It is estimated that two million Americans self-mutilate, and a high percentage do so because of unresolved childhood trauma, particularly sexual abuse.
- Abuse is one of the primary reasons for homelessness in America.
- It is estimated that one-third of abused children will become abusive parents.
- Alcoholics are over three times more likely to have experienced childhood abuse.
- 70-80% of adult sex addicts are survivors of physical or sexual abuse.
- According to a study released by U.S. Dept. of Justice, being abused or neglected as a child increases the likelihood of arrest as a juvenile by 59%, arrest as an adult by 28%, and arrest for a violent crime by 30%.