How to identify child abuse signs

The number of child abuse cases reported has grown significantly over the past several decades. This could be because of the growing awareness of the problem. According to the book, Child Abuse: Why do my parents hit me, by Kate Havelin, about a million children in the United States were abused or neglected in 1996. This is an 18 percent increase from 1990. This rate of abuse has stabilized since the mid-1990s, but the fact remains that child abuse is a significant problem for our children.

Children who are physically abused exhibit specific behavioral clues. These victims are likely to be withdrawn and do not wish to be touched. They may be protecting injuries, and do not wish to be exposed. They may hit and act out aggressively toward other children, since this is the behavior that is modeled in their home.

These children may offer many excuses for their injuries that are implausible or may seem exceedingly clumsy. The physically abused child may avoid relationships with adults to avoid more physical harm in their life.

Victims of sexual abuse are likely to exhibit specific behaviors related to their abuse. They have been prematurely introduced to sexual behavior and may act out these behaviors in school. They may masturbate in the class, make sexual advances on other students, discuss sexually explicit acts, or discuss the inappropriate amounts of information on sexual acts at an early age.

A child may defecate in their pants if anal penetration has occurred. These children are often coerced into silence by their abusers. The sexual offender may convince the child that their parents will be hurt if the abuse is discovered. The child may be made to feel responsible for sexual acts. They are told that no one will love them if anyone finds out about what they do.

Children who are abused need to be protected. Whether the child is emotionally abused, physically abused, or sexually abused the need to assist and support the dysfunctional family is apparent. Children who are abused as children become abusers themselves unless they can be helped and supported through counseling, and intervention. Doctors, counselors, teachers, nurses, and other professionals are required by law to report suspected child abuse victims.

This is done by calling a local social service agency. Individuals who do not fall under these categories can call the school counselor, public health nurse, or any social service agency for advice on reporting abuse. Information is confidential, and the individual making the report does not need to supply their name. This is done to promote reporting of child abuse and offer the victims protection.

Child abuse has been around for as long as there have been families. Awareness of the destructiveness of abuse has forced society to develop laws to protect children. It is important to be educated on the symptoms and outcomes of abuse so that as a community we can support and protect children.

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