Everybody plays an essential role in preventing child abuse in the community. Therefore, it is vital that you understand the signs of child abuse which will help you in recognizing the child abuse incidents. You will then report to the relevant authorities and make a huge difference in the child’s life.
Child abuse occurs in many forms which often happen at the same time. Physical abuse occurs when someone purposely injures a child physically or risk to harm.
Emotional abuse results when somebody injures the emotions of a child or the child’s self-esteem. This may be verbal or emotional assaults such as isolating, ignoring or belittling the child.
Sexual abuse occurs when someone exposes a child to sexual activities such as oral-genital contact, intercourse, or pornography.
Medical abuse results when somebody gives false information about illness in a child that requires medical attention. Thus, they put the child into unnecessary medical care which can cause injuries to the child.
It is easier to determine the signs of child abuse.
Frequent and unexplained injuries
Children experiencing physical abuse have unexplained bruises or cuts in the body parts where accidental injuries are likely to happen such as cheeks, genitals, buttocks and the neck. The injuries may appear like marks from a hand or a belt.
Extremes in behavior
Children facing abuse may remarkably comply or be extremely demanding in terms of behavior. They may be excessively withdrawn, anxious or fearful in doing something wrong. They may also be extremely aggressive.
Lack of hygiene and personal care
They may look dirty often and wearing ill-fitting clothes which are inappropriate for the weather. They may have a severe odor or untreated injuries and illnesses. They look uncared for.
Changes in sleeping and eating habits
Children experiencing abuse may develop poor eating habits which may lead to loss of weight. They also appear tired and fatigued because of frequent nightmares or difficulties in sleeping.
Inappropriate sexual behaviors
They may show interest in or knowledge about sexual acts that are inappropriate for their age. They may engage in seductive behavior or use explicit sexual language. Trust your instincts and help save the child.
Changes in school performance and attendance
They may have difficulties in concentrating in school or have an excessive absence. This may result from adults trying to hide the children’s injuries from the authorities.
Don’t act their age
They may return to their earlier behaviors such as thumb-sucking, fear of the dark or fear of strangers. They may even lose their acquired language or have memory problems.
Knowing the signs of child abuses puts you in a better position of addressing all the issues of child abuse and offering protection to the child.