Children around the world are abused every day, mainly beginning at ages of infancy to twelve years old (McCoy, Monical L., and Stefanie M. Keen). In the story China Men, a young girl and her siblings remember vividly when their father would physically abuse them. The young girl explains that their father would bang on the door and shout in an angry voice, “Come out” (40). Their father would eventually knock down the door and beat them. The author explains that both her and her sister struggle in clearly recalling the events. Although they remember similar events, they can’t recall who was beaten. (Kingston 40). The author indirectly demonstrates in this article that being abused can affect you later in life. In her case, the abuse resulted in a loss of memory. The author wants to both expose her readers to the truth of abuse and also help them see the effects of this abuse.
Abuse has negative affects on a child’s physical and emotional development that can last a lifetime. Although the effects of abuse can vary from person to person, the most common result is mental illness. “Data has suggested that the high levels of stress hormones associated with child maltreatment can damage the hippocampus, which may in turn affect a person’s ability to cope with stress later in life.”( Chiplock, Amanda Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press) In other words, early stress may make the brain unable to cope with the effects of later stress in adulthood. A consequence of maltreatment can be PTSD. Which is “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder”, it is a disorder that can occur following the experience of being abused. Many people that may have this should return to their old selves given a little time. However, some may have reactions that do not go away on their own even when they get older. “People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person’s daily life.”(Schiraldi, Glenn R. The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook). Many whom have PTSD may start to develop more problems such as depression, substance abuse of physical and mental health. The disorder will not let someone function properly in life outside of his or her home or even in his or her family life many that PTSD end up having a hard time being “normal” later in his or her life.
Abuse causes many emotional and behavioral problems in children from a young age.