Child Abuse

CHILD ABUSE HURTS. It is everyone’s problem. It exists in every community.

By recognizing the signs of abuse and knowing what to do, you may save a child from an abusive adult. Seek help from the proper authorities in your area if you suspect a case of child abuse.

Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional or a result of neglect. The number one reason that triggers infant abuse is a baby’s constant crying. Other reasons that may cause a parent or adult to abuse a child include the following:

» History of abuse during their childhood
» Substance abuse
» Unrealistic expectations of children
» Living at or below poverty level
» Lack of parenting skills
» Abuse from their partner
» Emotional problems – low self esteem or a need to control

Physical abuse involves any injury due to hitting, shaking, kicking, biting, or any other physical harm.

Signs of physical abuse may include:

» Unexplained bruises or broken bones
» Fear of adults
» Defiance and aggression towards others
» Fear of physical contact
» Acting like a child younger than their actual age

Sexual abuse may be physical (inappropriate touching or rape) or nonphysical (indecent exposure, sexual conversations, or showing sexually explicit material such as magazines or movies to the child).Signs of a sexually abused child may include:

» Inappropriate displays of affection from the child
» Abnormal interest or knowledge of sexual behavior
» Wetting pants or bed
» Social withdrawal from others
» Poor performance at school
» Pain during urination

Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse, mental abuse, or severe acts of punishment.

Signs of emotional abuse may include:

» Lack of concentration or emotion
» Rocking, sucking, or biting
» Aggression or depression and withdrawal
» Sleep or speech disorders
» Socially immature for his/her age

Physical neglect is the failure to provide a child with basic needs such as shelter, food, clothing, and hygiene.

Signs of physical neglect may include:

» Clothing that is dirty and/or inappropriate for time of year or weather
» Lack of daily bathing, dirty hair, poor dental hygiene
» Lack of supervision by the parent or adult
» Untreated medical problems
» Lack of concentration due to sleepiness

If you suspect or have knowledge concerning child abuse or abusive behavior, you should report it to the authorities. This can be done anonymously and may save a child’s life.

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