Children are a family’s most precious asset, yet in some families, children are not given the love or the care that they should rightfully be given. In some homes, children are instead subjected to physical, verbal, or other attacks that cause them harm. Instead of living with their parents’ love, these children live in fear. This problem can be exacerbated by alcohol, which can make parents more angry or aggressive toward their children. In some instances, alcohol may even be a trigger for the abuse. The damage that alcohol and abuse can cause a child can last a lifetime if the proper help and therapy are not obtained.
The Link Between Alcoholism and Child Abuse
Connections between alcohol abuse and child abuse have undergone a significant amount of study. The results of these tests are often inconsistent in terms of how large of a role alcohol plays in the problem of child abuse. In some studies, the abuse of children was directly related to the use of alcohol, while in other cases, there appeared to be no direct correlation. According to ChildHelp, however, up to two thirds of the cases of child abuse involved the use of substances. It also notes that parents who abuse alcohol are as much as three times more likely to abuse their children than parents who do not.
- Alcohol Abuse as a Risk Factor for and Consequence of Child Abuse
- National Child Abuse Statistics
- Drug Abuse Magnitude
- Child Maltreatment and Alcohol (PDF)
Alcoholism in Adults Abused as Children
Research has shown that for some people who have experienced abuse as a child, there is an increased risk of alcoholism. These adults turn to alcohol for a number of suspected reasons, including poor coping skills, psychological problems, and/or antisocial behavior. This phenomenon was found in women who had suffered through abuse of either a physical or a sexual nature as children.
- Girls Who Suffer Child Abuse May Abuse Alcohol as Adults
- The Effects of Child Sexual Abuse (PDF)
- Substance Abuse, High-Risk Sex, and Violence: What’s the Connection?
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Abused and Neglected Children Grown Up (PDF)
Types of Child Abuse
In addition to emotional abuse, there are three additional types of child abuse, which are physical and sexual abuse and neglect. Physical abuse is when a parent or other adult hits, kicks, or otherwise beats a child. Physical abuse can also involve the use of weapons such as knives or guns. Children who suffer this type of abuse often show physical signs such as cuts, burns, or black eyes. Sexual abuse, as its name implies, is the abuse of a child in a sexual manner. Voyeurism and exposing children to pornography are also forms of sexual abuse, even though there is no physical contact. Neglect is a form of abuse in that children are not given the proper attention or care that they should receive. This involves failure to supervise them, feed them, or provide medical care.
- Child Abuse
- Child Abuse and Neglect
- Crime Victim Services – Child Abuse – Types of Child Abuse
- Child Abuse Introduction
- Types of Child Abuse and Neglect
Preventing Child Abuse
The prevention of child abuse is something that everyone can get involved in. If there is suspicion that a child is being neglected, people should immediately contact the police, if it appears to be an emergency situation, or their local social services department. People can also offer their assistance to parents who are having difficulties with parenting. For example, if a friend or neighbor seems overwhelmed, a person can offer to babysit or help by finding someone who can. Participation in groups such as Big Brothers Big Sisters is also useful in preventing abuse, and people may volunteer to help with these programs. Donations to organizations are also a way to indirectly support their efforts to end child abuse and neglect.
- Ways to Prevent Child Abuse (PDF)
- Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
- Prevent Child Abuse
- Child Abuse Prevention Tips
- Child Abuse Prevention
Alcohol Abuse Treatment
In order to successfully treat alcohol abuse, people must first recognize that they have a problem. Friends and family may help the abuser see how alcohol is affecting not only their life but also that of the child. To get the help that is needed, a person has several choices: They may go to rehab, sign up for a self-help program, or seek therapy. If the person seeking help has been involved in child abuse, treatment in a rehab clinic or visits with a therapist may provide the help that is needed. Group sessions with others who have abused alcohol may be a supplemental option that helps one stay sober.
- Understanding Alcohol Abuse Treatment
- Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Treatment
- Alcohol Abuse and Dependence: Treatment
- Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
- Medline Plus: Alcoholism and Alcohol