This article is from the Dissociation FAQ, by Discord (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
Abuse can leave both physical and mental scars on the victim.
Some physical effects include visible scars and mutilation, the inability
to bear or father children (or danger in bearing children), limps, and
even such extremes as missing limbs, blindness, or paralyzation. The most
extreme physical effect of abuse is death, and that does happen.
The mental effects are endless.
Most common are a low self-esteem and depression, sometimes short-lived,
other times pervasive and long-lasting. Survivors of long-term abuse
also frequently experience anxiety/panic attacks, memory loss, flashbacks
of the abuse; the inability to form permanent, healthy relationships;
impaired sexual functioning; extreme fear and (self-imposed) social
isolation. Dissociation is also a common effect of abuse, whether this
be mild or extreme. Other neuroses and psychoses also have their root in
Childhood abuse, even when not particularly extreme, is often
subjectively much worse than abuse experienced as an adult. Freqently,
abused children live much of their adult life disfunctional, due to the
depth of depression, extreme low self-esteem, and sometimes the extremity
of dissociation so common to abused children. These children often grow
up to have little or no sense of self-worth, and frequently turn to
self-mutilation, self-destructive behaviors such as addiction or the
(often subconscious) seeking out of abusive partners, excessive unhealthy
sexual behavior, and sometimes suicide.