The 2018 Family Problems Symposium organized by the Child Abuse Prevention Council explains the scope of child abuse, the community’s efforts against it, and new preventive approaches and treatments. Many children, unfortunately, have gone through some sort of abuse growing up, imprinting deeply into their young minds.
When a child experiences abuse, they instinctively confide in another trusted adult, yet their voices fall silent. To prevent or spot these inhumane acts, we need to educate ourselves about the forms and signs of child abuse.
This happens when a parent or caregiver injures a child on purpose. The more obvious signs are bruises and cuts from kicking, beating, and choking, among others. Children who go through this abuse at home are typically scared to go home. Meanwhile, abusive parents often have a hard time explaining the child’s injuries.
Sexual abuse is exposing a child to any sexual activity like fondling, intercourse, oral-genital contact, or exploitation or exposure to pornography. Children who experience sexual abuse may have a hard time walking or sitting. They may also report scary dreams or wet the bed or refuse to change into their gym clothes, fearing the familiar undressing. They also have an unsettling familiarity with sex and sexual behavior, and they may get attached to strangers quickly.
This form of abuse may be hard to prove, and signs may show through another kind of abuse. Emotional abuse prevents children from having positive self-worth because of verbal and emotional assault like belittling, berating, rejecting, or isolating a child. Surfacing signs are attempted suicide, extreme passive or active behavior, and the lack of attachment to the parent.
Medical abuse occurs when people give false information about a child’s injury or condition, refusing the child of the needed healthcare and treatment.
This form of abuse is the failure to adequately provide a child’s necessities like food, water, shelter, clothing, affection, and medical treatment, among others. Neglect becomes evident when a parent abandons their well-being, and haphazardly uses drugs and alcohol.
Many cases exhibit evidence that a child’s abuser is often somebody they trust. Sickeningly, it may be parents, relatives, or a grown-up with authority. The responsibility falls on us sensible adults to call out abusers and predators, and this responsibility encompasses all children, whether they are related or not related to you.