Child Abuse: A Concern Seen Inconsequential in Pakistan

Iffat Amin

1st Year MBBS, Islamabad Medical and Dental College


Child abuse or child maltreatment is physical, sexual, and/or psychological maltreatment or neglect of a child, especially by means of parents or a caregiver. It can occur in a child's circle of relatives or companies, faculties, or communities with whom the child interacts. Children who're abused typically suffer harm to their physical and mental health.

Signs of child abuse

When a child is experiencing ill-treatment from a caregiver or other person, there are signs that may indicate abuse. These include:

Evidence of physical abuse:

  • Facial injuries
  • Marks on skin
  • Injuries on arms
  • Oral injuries
  • Dislocations all over body
  • Bleeding gum
  • Fractures of bones

Evidence of sexual abuse:

  • Pain around genitals
  • Painful urination and defecation
  • Discharge from genitals

Evidence of psychological abuse:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Social threats
  • Use of male privilege
  • Assessed isolation

Types of child abuse

Child abuse has reached large proportions. Every year, about one million children are denied the opportunity to have a normal, harm-free childhood. Instead, during their formative years, they are subjected to the horrors of mistreatment.1

Physical abuse

This form of abuse refers to the deliberate physical harm of a child by parents or caregivers. Physical abuse affects around 18% of maltreated children and is a leading cause of child deaths—homicide falling in second for the loss of infant lives younger than one.2 Offspring of all races, identities, and economic backgrounds can be subject to actual abuse, though it is more common in young men and babies.2 There is also an increased chance of violence where a child is raised in poverty, or in a home where domestic violence is rampant. The same goes in situations where a child grows up with an unrelated adult, or with more than two siblings at home.3

Emotional abuse

Psychological mistreatment happens where a child is frightened, threatened, pressurized, or taken advantage of by a parent/guardian. This is seen where a child is continually scrutinized, compromised, dismissed, or given no help or love while growing up.

Sexual abuse

Sexual maltreatment incorporates rape, assault, interbreeding, caressing, oral sexual contact etc.

Sexual maltreatment is a worryingly normal type of child misuse. By adulthood, it is assessed that 26% of young girls and 5% of young men will encounter this abuse.5

Impacts of child abuse


Physically, children might experience broken bones, bruises, bleeding, vomiting, tremors and lethargy. In more serious cases where abuse is longer in duration, the child may experience seizures and mental and developmental delays.2


A significant number of psychological issues are associated with child abuse. They are at a risk of experiencing low self-esteem, depression, drug or alcohol dependence, and increased potential for child abuse as a parent.6


Children encountering sexual abuse may fail to develop trustful relationships. In future, they are reminded about the incident that happened with them that may affect their relation with their partners.5

Children that have been actually manhandled ought to then be consoled, with assessments completed to decide the degree of the evil treatment received. Prescription drugs might be suggested for the PTSD, tension, despondency, and different torments related with oppressive treatment.6

  1. Gonzalez D, Bethencourt Mirabal A, McCall JD. Child Abuse and Neglect.In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan
  2. Mahoney J. Types of abuse. Nurs Clin North Am. 2011;46(4):385-v. doi:10.1016/j.cnur.2011.08.005
  3. Melmer MN, Gutovitz S. Child Sexual Abuse And Neglect. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan
  4. Shin SH, Lee S, Jeon SM, Wills TA. Childhood emotional abuse, negative emotion-driven impulsivity, and alcohol use in young adulthood. Child Abuse Negl. 2015;50:94-103. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.02.010
  5. Abbas SS, Jabeen T. Prevalence of child abuse among the university students: a retrospective cross-sectional study in University of the Punjab, Pakistan. International quarterly of community health education. 2020 Jan;40(2):125-34.
  6. Urquiza AJ, Winn C. Treatment for abused and neglected children: Infancy to age 18. US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect; 1993.

Volume 4

An Official Publication of Student Spectrum at
Islamabad Medical & Dental College

Address of Correspondence

Iffat Amin