Signs and Statics of Child Abuse
“It takes a village to raise a child.”
Child abuse is any mistreatment or neglect of a child that results in harm or injury. Child abuse can include:
PHYSICAL ABUSE: Purposely injuring a child by hitting, biting, shaking, kicking, burning, or throwing objects.
EMOTIONAL ABUSE: Crushing a child’s spirit with verbal attacks, threats, or humiliation. Words that hurt will harm a child’s self esteem.
SEXUAL ABUSE: Sexual contact with a child (i.e. incest, inappropriate touching, etc…) Using a child for sexual films, pictures, or prostitution; obscene language; or exposure not involving contact.
NEGLECT: Willfully failing to provide for a child’s emotional (love and attention) or physical (food, clothing, and shelter) needs; failing to offer guidance, supervision or a safe home environment.
Use these practical Role Play Scenarios as an aid in giving your children the skills and knowledge to avoid sexual predators.
To learn ways to teach your children how to be safe from child sexual predators and others click on ‘Tips for Teaching Children Personal Safety Skills’
Factors That Can Lead to Child Abuse
Stress…is a major factor in child abuse. Stress can come from the workplace, social isolation, marital problems, and illness.
Unreasonable expectations…When parents are unaware of their children’s limitations they often set too high of expectations. When these are not met, the parent may think that the child is intentionally misbehaving.
Lack of Parenting Knowledge…Parents who have not had good role models may not fully understand their child’s needs/wants or appropriate methods of discipline. This may lead them to feel guilty or inadequate, taking these feeling out on their children.
Financial Hardship…When parents are having financial difficulty they may see their child’s needs as a reminder of his/her “failure”, blaming their children for the financial troubles.
Family Background…Studies have proven that abused children are at a higher risk to abuse their own children. As a child who has seen or been abused on a regular basis they often see abuse as “normal” or a viable form of discipline.. This does not happen in all cases. If you have been abused as a child it does not automatically mean you will abuse your children! If this has happened and you have not dealt with it please feel free to call NHCC for assistance.
· Almost one million children are abused or neglected each year.
· And they are likely to be abused again.
· More than one thousand die.
· About 1 in 7 sexual assaults happen to a child under the age of 6.
· About 90% of rape victims under 12 know the person who raped them.
What To Look for: Signs and Symptoms
Bruises, welts, or burns shaped like objects (iron, heater, etc.)
Bruises in unusual places (eyes, back, mouth, buttocks, genital area, thighs)
“Sock” or “Glove” burns on hands or feet
Small round burns from cigarettes
Rope burns on ankles, wrists, or torso
Adult size bite marks
Physical discipline administered with an object (i.e. belt, wooden spoon etc.)
Marks from physical discipline that last more than an hour or so
A child who is apathetic (doesn’t care)
A child who suffers from depression
A child who won’t take part in play or school activities
A child who is hostile or aggressive
A child with a loss of appetite or who compulsively overeats
Withdrawal or anti-social attitudes
Refusal to undress for phy-ed or sports
Exaggerated interest in sex or “acting out” sex with other children
Unusually seductive behavior
Fear of intimate contact (hugging or sports)
Torn, stained, or bloody clothing
Sexual knowledge beyond their years and developmental ability
Any of the same signs as emotional abuse
A child who is hungry most of the time
A child who is wandering outside unsupervised
A child unsuitably dressed for the weather
A child who is continually dirty or wearing the same soiled clothes
A child who consistently shows up early or stays late at school
A child who is left home alone when too young, for extended periods of time, or who is left alone caring for siblings when too young or for extended periods of time