Warning signs of emotional abuse in children
Excessively withdrawn, fearful, or anxious about doing something wrong.
Shows extremes in behavior (extremely compliant or extremely demanding; extremely passive or extremely aggressive).
Doesn’t seem to be attached to the parent or caregiver.
Acts either inappropriately adult (taking care of other children) or inappropriately infantile (rocking, thumb-sucking, tantruming).
Warning signs of physical abuse in children
Frequent injuries or unexplained bruises, welts, or cuts.
Is always watchful and “on alert,” as if waiting for something bad to happen.
Injuries appear to have a pattern such as marks from a hand or belt.
Shies away from touch, flinches at sudden movements, or seems afraid to go home.
Wears inappropriate clothing to cover up injuries, such as long-sleeved shirts on hot days.
Warning signs of neglect in children
Clothes are ill-fitting, filthy, or inappropriate for the weather.
Hygiene is consistently bad (unbathed, matted and unwashed hair, noticeable body odor).
Untreated illnesses and physical injuries.
Is frequently unsupervised or left alone or allowed to play in unsafe situations and environments.
Is frequently late or missing from school.
Warning signs of sexual abuse in children
Trouble walking or sitting.
Displays knowledge or interest in sexual acts inappropriate to his or her age, or even seductive behavior.
Makes strong efforts to avoid a specific person, without an obvious reason.
Doesn’t want to change clothes in front of others or participate in physical activities.
An STD or pregnancy, especially under the age of 14.
Runs away from home.
Reporting child abuse and neglect
If you suspect a child is being abused, it’s critical to get them the help he or she needs. Reporting child abuse seems so official. Many people are reluctant to get involved in other families’ lives.
Understanding some of the myths behind reporting may help put your mind at ease if you need to report child abuse
I don’t want to interfere in someone else’s family.
The effects of child abuse are lifelong, affecting future relationships, self-esteem, and sadly putting even more children at risk of abuse as the cycle continues. Help break the cycle of child abuse.
What if I break up someone’s home?
The priority in child protective services is keeping children in the home. A child abuse report does not mean a child is automatically removed from the home - unless the child is clearly in danger. Support such as parenting classes, anger management or other resources may be offered first to parents if safe for the child.
They will know it was me who called.
Reporting is anonymous. In most countries, you do not have to give your name when you report child abuse. The child abuser cannot find out who made the report of child abuse.
It won’t make a difference what I have to say.
If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, it is better to be safe than sorry. Even if you don’t see the whole picture, others may have noticed as well, and a pattern can help identify child abuse that might have otherwise slipped through the cracks.
Good information. Thank you. I think some people familiar with foster care may be hesitant to report lesser abuse fearing a worse situation for the child if placed there. I have this idea/problem, anyways. As a survivor myself. Thanks for posting.
Wow! Thanks for sharing! It helps to have guidelines!
Good job David! You are an amazing man!
I won the Lucky Violent Stepmonster Lottery! A kindergarten teacher - a true child expert!
She's been getting "help" apparently most of her life, I can tell you she hasn't changed at all.
Surviving child abuse has been likened to being a Holocaust Survivor by many psychologists.
The victim is re-victimized by having to remain living in silence to avoid upsetting people by the horror they have already been forced to endure- if they survive it at all.
The victims are also expected to "protect" their abusers by silence, lying, covering for them etc.
Which in many cases their lives depend on them doing just that..
They are expected to push it behind them as if nothing happened- losers attract loss right?
The only solution is HARSH PUNISHMENT for the offenders, fitting of the crimes they have committed as swiftly as possible.
And for people to quit claiming the absures are "SICK" and need "HELP"
The truth is, they make everyone around them sick. They themselves are FINE.
PUNISHMENT would work more swiftly and effectively than years of "HELP"
( apparently punishing the guilty is a time sensitive issue- for many of us- it's too late to prove anything. )
Also more time and money spent to carefully check out people applying for jobs in areas working with defenseless people/ animals.
Don't let people get comfortable in a possible "abuse" situation.
EX: teachers- switch up the grades every 2 years. So they have a full array of kids they have to deal with. One year it's 5 year olds, next year it's 10 year olds.
( this would work, trust me )
As for the child, after the first offense has happened, intervention couldn't come fast enough.
Unfortunately, the mortality rates are shocking for kids in this situation, and unless the abuse results finally, in FATALITY, the criminal is rarely ever caught, let alone punished.
These offenders have no guilt, because they have NO CONSCIENCE. It's a life-long process.
What is truly disturbing is the fact that these offenders prey on the vulnerable and defenseless- children, sick, injured, elderly and animals and can often be found working in positions that give them access to their victims.
They often move from one group to another to avoid being caught, and if anyone stops them, usually they know exactly what to say to avoid detection or punishment. Most of them have been abusive their entire lives.
My nemesis has now moved on to the arena of the elderly!
One of the reasons this information really NEEDS to get out there, is we now have a whole tidal wave of AUTISM.
The cycle will start up again and be 10 times worse than it ever was, and many of these people can't even communicate what has happened to them!
Just something chilling to think about.
I would be willing to wager, EVERY PERSON on this planet is or knows someone who has had to endure seriously damaging physical, sexual, mental, emotional, spiritual abuse. The problem is more widespread than most people think.
Thank you for your article, I will pass it along to anyone I think can make a difference.
I apologize for my post being so lengthy, this is a subject that I am passionate about, and have pretty much felt helpless to create change that desperately needs to happen. And also I realize that I have more rounds to go with my own nemesis- it's far from a finished story.
W.C.B. in Portland
Excellent article. My only problem with it is this statement: "putting more children at risk... break the cycle of abuse". Very few abused children grow up to abuse others. This statement sounds like most or all may grow up to abuse. This is a major myth of abuse that prevents many survivors from seeking help. It's called the Vampire Syndrome and it needs to be stopped. So few abused people go on to abuse and this article would be even better if this problem were addressed. Thank you.
Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest
of the site is very good.
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