Look Out For The Many Signs of Child Abuse
Child Abuse Car Donation
April 18, 2011
Know The Facts & Causes About Child Abuse
Children are the most precious living things on earth. They can bring so much joy to families and friends. However, children are unaware of the many dangers of life. That is where parents come in.
As parents we are responsible for teaching kids to look both ways before crossing or to never talk to strangers. Unfortunately, we must let our children go out on their own from time to time. Parents can only hope that their child listened and took them seriously. If my parents did not make me aware that there are “human monsters” in the world, I may have become a staggering statistic of child abuse.
The facts on child abuse is horrifying. 84 percent of prison inmates were abused as children. One in three girls and one in five boys are sexually abused by an adult at some time during childhood. Large families (families of four or more children) have higher rates of abuse and neglect. Over 80 percent of the child abusers are a parent or someone close to a child. In fact, child abuse is much more likely to occur in the child’s home than in at school or in a day care center. One in thirteen kids with a drug addicted parent are abused on a regular basis. Finally, one out of ten babies are born to mothers who are abusing drugs and alcohol. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is already harmful for the health of unborn children.
Types of Child Abuse
Types of Child Abuse
By definition, child abuse is defined as a variety of abnormal and abusive behavior directed against children. There are many types of child abuse, however, each type of child abuse has the potential to change their life forever.
- Child Sexual Abuse: is any activity that uses a child to experience sexual pleasure. Giving a child a handshake or a hug is completely normal. It should be easy to distinguish the normal signs of affection between sexual abuse. The intent to use a child for sexual arousal is illegal and will harm the child for the rest of their life.
To put it simply, any sexual activity that may occur between a grown man and woman should never be used on a child. No one, including parents should ever touch a child’s genitals with the intention of creating sexual feelings. Child sexual abuse would also include excessive kissing, cuddling, touching and French kissing. Children should not be forced to take off their clothes with the intent of becoming sexually aroused.
The other types of child sexual abuse is the videotaping, photographing or filming of children. Some perpetrators even expose children to erotic literature and movies. Disgustingly, some abusers even put pictures of their victims on Facebook!
Parents, please pay attention to your child’s relationships with adults. Watch out for excessive touching and any abnormal behavior between others. The best way to identify the physical signs of child abuse is to know the normal appearance of your child’s body. Look for any bruises or problems with his or her genitals. Consult your family physician if necessary.
Also, observe sudden changes in your child’s behavior. Watch out for discipline problems such as bed wetting, depression, continuous nightmares, fecal soiling and insomnia. If you suspect that your child is being abused, consult a professional immediately. Professionals such as the APSAC can evaluate your child properly to explore the possibility of child sexual abuse.
Other signs of Sexual Abuse in Children:
- Withdrawal or anti-social attitude.
- Refusal or extreme anxiety to undress for physical education or sports.
- Abnormal interest in sex with other children.
- Strange seductive behavior.
- Fear of intimate contact (hugging or kiss to say goodbye or goodnight)
- Torn, stained, or bloodied clothing
2. Physical Abuse In Children
Physically Abused Children
The physical abuse of children is described as excessive physical injury to a child or excessive punishment of a child. Beatings, torture and the assault of children are the common types of physical abuse. Commonly, loved ones including parents will lose their patience with their child and will hit their child. However, there is a big difference in discipling your child and abusing them.
Spanking your child is a normal form of discipline. I was spanked as a child and I can attest to the fact that it works. It made me think twice about disobeying my parents again. However, if it becomes excessive and is unnecessary; it is classified as physical abuse. For example, let’s say your child gets caught in a lie. In addition, you believe he or she is not taking your verbal reprimand seriously. It is perfectly normal to spank your child to make sure that they understand that lying is an unacceptable habit to form. However, if you continuously spank your child for minutes at a time, you may be taking it too far. Also, using objects such as belts, paddles, sticks or other objects to discipline your child is wrong. Those objects will cause severe injury to a child.
Spanking a child is designed to condition a child to never repeat the poor behavior or decision. However, causing your child to bleed or develop severe bruises is excessive and unnecessary to the process.
Raising a child can be quite a challenge. Children can do things that will make every bone in your body rattle in anger. However, parents need to control their anger and never take out their frustrations out on their child.
Read this article on How to Include Spanking in Child Discipline
3. Child Neglect:
Children that are neglected are poorly cared for. They have dirty and torn clothing, insufficient or no medical care and are not fed adequately. Poor families often neglect their children, however, it is a criminal offense to not provide your child with the basic needs of life. Poor families must seek help from social services in any situation in which children have less-than-adequate care!
If you know of a child that does not have a consistent source of food or shelter, please contact a homeless shelter or social service. Ignoring the problem will not resolve anything. Often there is help for families that are struggling financially. It is the parents responsibility to continue to get help for a child who is not doing well or who is improperly cared for. If parents fail to seek help for their child, criminal action can take place and child protective services will remove them from the home and will place them in foster care.
4. Emotional Neglect:
Children are just as delicate physically as they are emotionally. Children seek attention from their parents. Often children that are emotionally neglected develop rebellious behaviors and avoid their parents. It can even cause social problems such as the inability to interact with other children or excessive attachments to anyone who will pay attention to them. These abnormal behaviors in young children will only continue to haunt them into their adult life. It will often transform into personality or mental disorders that can be difficult to treat.
What Can Parents Do To Avoid Neglecting Their Child
As parents we need to have a strong relationship with our children. Here are some tips to follow to avoid neglecting your child:
- Spend time with your child in entertainment and learning activities.
- Make sure you show your child love and affection.
- Be involved with your children. Spend time learning about their favorite activities. Attend their sporting events or other events they are involved with.
- Does your child have excessive behavioral problems? If so, take the appropriate steps to resolve their behavioral problems.
- Supervise the time you are caring for children instead of letting them be on their own and unsupervised.
- Do you notice that your relationship with your child is strained? Is there excessive yelling, anger, resentment and punishment?
- Do you have poor behaviors that you practice in front of your children that promotes bad behavior? Such as drug use, profanity or physical violence?
It is the parents responsibility to recognize all of these problems and seek help if necessary. Often there is help for emotional neglect through parental training courses, reading and effort.
5. Child Abuse-Failure to Thrive:
The final type of child abuse we are going to discuss is called failure to thrive. It is a condition in which children fail to develop to their full genetic physical and mental potential. It is often caused by medical problems that stunt the growth of children. In some cases, parents intentionally and unintentionally ignore the problems.
Children should see their doctor yearly to monitor their rate of growth. Often doctors can discover health problems that be easily resolved at an early age. Medical conditions that affect growth can be easily tested and treated at an early age. There have been cases where parents are suspected of intentional abuse such as not feeding their child, feeding their child harmful foods, emotional neglect and not seeking medical care when their child is sick. If failure to thrive is considered, parents must adhere with the doctor’s recommendations regarding testing and other investigations. If parents fail to comply, the doctor’s suspicion that the parent is not helping the problem will increase!
Ten Things To Do Instead of Hurting a Child
Source: Baltimore County-Facts About Child Abuse
- Take a deep breath. Take a few more. Remember, you are the adult.
- Close your eyes and imagine you are hearing what your child is about to hear, or receiving the same punishment.
- Press your lips together and count to 20.
- Put the child in a “time-out” chair for a number of minutes. The rule is one minute for each year of age.
- Put yourself in a “time-out” chair. Are you really angry at the child or is it something else.
- Call a friend to talk about it. If you need to, dial 1-800-4-A-CHILD (National Child Abuse Hotline).
- If someone can watch the children, go out for a walk.
- Take a hot bath or splash cold water on your face.
- Turn on some music. Sing along if you want.
- Pick up a pencil and write down a list of helpful words, not words that will hurt. Save the list. Use these words.
We need to protect our most cherished asset. Children! They are helpless at times, but good parents can show them the right path to success. Look out for possible cases of child abuse. Report the case to social services or contact local law enforcement. If you are an adult that believes that you have abused a child, please seek help. There is no shame in getting help. However, the entire world will never forgive you if you abuse a child.
@Cars To Help Kids is a child abuse non profit organization accepting car donations to help provide families support to fight child abuse.