Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Signs of Child Abuse

I am not ready to tell my own story yet (I don't know if I'll ever be) however i do want to give information on the subject.

The first step in helping abused or neglected children is learning to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect. The presence of a single sign does not prove child abuse is occurring in a family, but a closer look at the situation may be warranted when these signs appear repeatedly or in combination.If you do suspect a child is being harmed, reporting your suspicions may protect the child and get help for the family. Any concerned person can report suspicions of child abuse and neglect.

Signs of Abuse may include

In the child:

Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance
Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents' attention
Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes
Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen
Lacks adult supervision
Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn
Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home

In the parent:
Shows little concern for the child
Denies the existence of—or blames the child for—the child's problems in school or at home
Asks teachers or other caregivers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves
Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome
Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve
Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs

In Both:
Rarely touch or look at each other
Consider their relationship entirely negative
State that they do not like each other

This is very common in all signs of abuse however there are many different types of abuse. For example, physical, sexual, emotional, and neglect. Physical and Sexual abuse may be the most severe but don't let that fool you. Emotional abuse and neglect are just as bad and may harm the child just as much.

Signs of...

Physical Abuse


Has unexplained burns, bites, bruises, broken bones, or black eyes
Has fading bruises or other marks noticeable after an absence from school
Seems frightened of the parents and protests or cries when it is time to go home
Shrinks at the approach of adults
Reports injury by a parent or another adult caregiver


Offers conflicting, unconvincing, or no explanation for the child's injury
Describes the child as "evil," or in some other very negative way
Uses harsh physical discipline with the child
Has a history of abuse as a child



Is frequently absent from school
Begs or steals food or money
Lacks needed medical or dental care, immunizations, or glasses
Is consistently dirty and has severe body odor
Lacks sufficient clothing for the weather
Abuses alcohol or other drugs
States that there is no one at home to provide care

Appears to be indifferent to the child
Seems apathetic or depressed
Behaves irrationally or in a bizarre manner
Is abusing alcohol or other drugs

Signs of Sexual Abuse


Has difficulty walking or sitting
Suddenly refuses to change for gym or to participate in physical activities
Reports nightmares or bed wetting
Experiences a sudden change in appetite
Demonstrates bizarre, sophisticated, or unusual sexual knowledge or behavior
Becomes pregnant or contracts a venereal disease, particularly if under age 14
Runs away
Reports sexual abuse by a parent or another adult caregiver

Is unduly protective of the child or severely limits the child's contact with other children, especially of the opposite sex
Is secretive and isolated
Is jealous or controlling with family members

Emotional Maltreatment


Shows extremes in behavior, such as overly compliant or demanding behavior, extreme passivity, or aggression
Is either inappropriately adult (parenting other children, for example) or inappropriately infantile (frequently rocking or head-banging, for example)
Is delayed in physical or emotional development
Has attempted suicide
Reports a lack of attachment to the parent

Constantly blames, belittles, or berates the child
Is unconcerned about the child and refuses to consider offers of help for the child's problems
Overtly rejects the child

Child abuse obviously can't be completely erased. Someone somewhere will try it but it's our job as family, as friends, as neighbors, AS HUMANS to notice the signs and prevent long term damage or death.

No comments:

Post a Comment