The neurological, psychological, emotional and social effects of abuse do not stop when the actual abuse has stopped. These affects are likely to be significant, pervasive, and long-lasting. Children who have experienced abuse at the hands of their parents tend to mistrust both their parents as well as subsequent carers who are making efforts to keep them safe. They avoid eye contact, comforting touch, reciprocal activities and communications that might facilitate a sense of safety and the development of a secure attachment. Those caring for such children need to find ways to patiently and gently help these children to begin to experience relaxed, reciprocal interactions with them along with the more intense experiences of comfort and joy.
Finally, when children have begun to trust their carers, but are returned to those who previously abused them, only to be abused again, they are at high risk to have even greater difficulty learning to trust. These more severe symptoms secondary to repeated trauma then cause their subsequent carers much greater challenges in helping them to begin to trust once again. This places the carers at risk for developing blocked care which further compromises the child's psychological development.