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Impact on brain

Abuse can slow brain development

When children are mistreated, it can stop or slow their brain development. Witnessing frequent parental fights and growing up with alcohol or drug abuse, mental illness, physical violence, or crime in the home can make the child have difficulty paying attention, controlling his or her behavior, trusting others, showing compassion, or making friends.

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The picture on the left shows a healthy, emotionally developed brain. The picture on the right shows the result of abuse and neglect. The dark areas show where the brain is inactive or undeveloped.