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Expert Witness: Lifelong Consequences of Child Abuse

Child abuse is often a lifelong concern once it has been suffered through the abuses by an adult or other child. Most often, when a youth suffers from these malignant experiences, he or she is harmed by someone he or she loves.

Child abuse usually occurs with a parent, family member or a friend of the family just as with many other crimes. When inflicted, there are generally two type of abuses that affect the small person the most. These are physical abuse often considered beatings, and the other is sexual abuse which may be determined as either rape or molestation. While one may seem worse than the other, they are both life-altering events that change the youth for the worse in most circumstances.

When applied to cases to prove that the individual is responsible for damages to the family and child affected, an expert witness is essential in providing testimony to explain how this affects the child and what future behavior issues may arise. This professional may in some instances even give enough detail that the young individual only needs to confirm that the person in the case is the one that harmed him or her. This is most important due to the stress and fear that a child may experience when forced to participate in a court room case for the claim to have higher chances of success.

Negative Consequences

Abuse inflicted upon children often alters his or her behavior, thought processes and actions. There are several different symptoms that he or she has been abused, but many of these are obvious to experts. It is important that therapy is sought early on to assist in realigning the child’s positive attitude and focus on life. Many negative impacts may be observed through either aggressive behavior or isolation. This means that the child may attack others just as he or she was physically abused, or the young person chooses to be alone no matter how much social interaction is occurring around him or her. When the individual has been sexually abused, he or she may exhibit adult interactions, speak about subjects that he or she wouldn’t ordinarily know or become fearful of touch, speaking his or her mind and interacting with other lest the truth emerge.

When a child is abused physically, his brain may have damage so that it does not grow property, he or she may have cognitive impairment or delays to development. Emotional problems may also arise such as social isolation and anger or fear. High risks in behavior may exist that cause the individual to perform certain actions that are considered dangerous. It is possible to observe depressive states, anxiety in interacting with others, an increase in hazardous activity such as smoking, drug use and alcohol consumption. Other life-long afflictions may also occur such as a permanent disability or impairment to learning or processing information. It is possible to see multiple symptoms with one harmed in this manner but only one or two in another. It is difficult to predict what may arise in an abused child.

Factors that an Expert Witness Must Explain

There are a number of factors that affect how a child may respond to abuse. These may be long-term or they may be single instances of harm. However, an expert witness is often necessary to detail how these factors change how a youth reacts to abuse whether sudden or that which progresses over time. The age of the young person is often one of the most important factors. This may determine what amount of fear, dangerous behavior and other symptoms are primary when he or she acts out. The type of abuse suffered also may determine how pronounced the symptoms and in some circumstances which ones are revealed. Both the duration and the severity of the abuse factors into how well adjusted the young person may be after extensive therapy.

Whatever relationship the abuser had to the child before the mistreatment often explains what he or she will do after it has occurred. This means that if the victim was related to the abuser, he or she may not talk about the incident to anyone. But if the attacker was a friend of the family, the little person may verbalize to someone that he or she feels will believe the tale. Because many are unaware of what abuse truly does to a youth, an expert witness is needed to clarify these situations so that the implications are clear and why so much compensation is needed in a civil suit.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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