The concept of child abuse and its effects has been recorded for at least a few decades however there has been a slow progress in the development of effective intervention measures. In the last decade, the need to increase awareness with the potential impact of child abuse on various domains of development in children has been steadily rising ever since it was found out that various forms of child abuse not only affects a child physically but also emotionally, behaviorally, and psychologically (Kaplan, Pelcovitz & Victor, 1999). This made child abuse a major health concern because it causes enough harm to the abused that it could impair them physically, psychologically, and emotionally (Widom, et al., 2007). What is even more alarming is that if left untreated, victims of child abuse could also pass on the abuse to their own children, which could create an endless cycle of abuse passed down from parents to children.
Child abuse is an important component in family violence, mainly due to its lasting effects on children, whether the abuse is directed at them directly or to the other parent. Since children emulate parental behavior and consider this to be normal, this way of thinking would be harder to change as the children grow up into adulthood, unless interventions such as psychological counseling are administered early. (Martin, et al., 2007). These children could end up getting into dysfunctional relationships and recreate their childhood lives, become delinquent members of the society, or simply choose to throw the abuse to themselves or anyone and anything weaker than them, which further perpetuates the cycle of abuse (Widom, et al., 2007). It is a necessity to understand how abuse is done and what its potential effects are to children in various developmental domains, as well as in designing effective interventions to heal the children since most psychologists and other members of the medical field have come to the agreement that child abuse have lasting effects on children and in succeeding generations. Literature Review Various publications regarding child abuse and maltreatment were released as early as the early 1970’s, however the increase in publications were fueled by the increasing number of child abuse cases, which prompted psychologists to understand what it is and why the phenomenon was on the rise. Records regarding the numbers of abuses were generated from various sources such as child protective services, law enforcement agencies, public health, hospitals, mental health, schools, and social service agencies, which were also most likely to notice, report, and take action on the abuse (Kaplan, et al., 1999; Martin, et al., 2007; Rodriguez and Eden, 2007). Common forms of abused mentioned were neglect, physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse, which were considered to form the majority of most abuse cases caused by various risk factors both within the family as well as