April is Child Abuse Awareness Month

childabuse-prevention-monthApril is child abuse awareness month and it is extremely important to spread this message to as many people as possible. Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver either by action or lack of action causes injury to a child. This is an awful and widespread situation causing inexcusable physical and emotional pain to innocent children. Sadly, each year there are more than three million cases of either physical, emotional, sexual, or neglect in the United States. The following information will describe each type of abuse and the signs to each.

Physical abuse is when a parent or caregiver inflicts non-accidental physical injuries to aunnamed (2) child. Approximately, 28.3% of adults have disclosed being physically abused as a child. Physical abuse can involve striking, kicking, burning, choking, throwing, shoving, and any other activity that can injure a child. Unfortunately, the outcomes of physical abuse can be any of the following:

  • Internal injuries that can result in brain damage
  • Broken bones, sprains, and dislocated joints
  • Emotional and psychological harm

images (8)The majority of people abusing a child do not realize some of their actions and mannerisms show there has been abuse in the home. The following are signs of abuse the parent or caregiver can display:

  • Unable to explain a child’s injury or attempt explaining the injury, but it doesn’t make any sense
  • Exhibits aggression towards a child or becomes extremely anxious about a child’s behavior
  • Tries saying the child isn’t trustworthy and lies
  • Hinders or prevents the medical care of a child

There are many signs of physical abuse a child may without knowing is showing. It is important to be aware and pay close attention to the following possible signs:

  • Visible and severe injuries
  • Injuries are at different stages of healing
  • Child is not able to explain injuries in a way that is clear and makes sense
  • Frequency of timing and history of injuriesimages (6)
  • Bruises have distinctive shapes

When a child is being abused it is very common for the child to have some behavioral changes. Most often the child does not understand what and why this is happening to them and can become angry causing them to behave in uncommon ways, which can include any of the following issues:

  • Aggression towards peers, pets, or other animals
  • Displays the fear of parents or other adults
  • Wears long sleeve shirts, no matter the season
  • Develops feelings of fear, depression, and anxiety
  • Experiences nightmares and or insomnia
  • Self-destructive behaviors or attitudes
  • Acting immaturely, emotional and extreme behaviors

images (7)A child is being sexually abused when an adult has sexual intentions or the child or involves the child in sexual acts.  Sexual abuse can also be when an older or stronger child uses a younger or less strong child for excitement or sexual gratification. About 20.7% of adults have reported they were sexually abused when they were a child.

Before we go too deep into sexual abuse, I want to forewarn you this part was extremely difficult to write, so it may also be troubling to read. I am fairly sure, especially with the present company, I am not the only one that finds sexual abuse both degrading and appalling. If only this topic wasn’t grotesque enough, it gets much worse because of all the different types of sexual abuse, which includes the following:

  1. Non-contact abuse– happens when a child is abused without being touched, This downloadcan occur both in-person and online, which includes
  • Exposing or flashing
  • Showing child pornographic videos
  • Improper sexual talking
  • Pressure child to make, view or share child abuse images or videos
  • Force the child to masturbate
  • Threaten and coercions child to take part in sexual activities via phone or online
  1. Contact Abuse is when the abuser makes physical contact with the child victim and can include:

POSSIBLE+PHYSICAL+SIGNS+OF+SEXUAL+ABUSE– Sexual touching to any part of the child’s body, with or without clothing

– Uses part of a child’s body or another object to rape or penetrate a child

– Child pressured and forced to take part in sexual acts

– Forcing a child to undress and or touch someone else

Parents and caregivers typically have no idea how their behavior can display signs of sexual abuse. By being aware and paying attention, signs you might be able to view are the following:images (2)

  • Parent or caregiver neglects to look after a child
  • Unstable adult presence
  • Parent is jealous and possessive
  • Sexual relationships are problematic, unhealthy and dysfunctional
  • Parent depends heavily on a child for emotional support

When a child is or has been sexually abused there are many signs that should be noted. Again, the signs I am listing are unspeakably odious, but they do include the following:

  • Struggles sitting, walking and with bowel problems
  • Torn, stained, bloody undergarments
  • Bleeding, bruising, painful, swollen, itchiness of the genital area
  • Reoccurring urinary tract infections or yeast infections

sexual-abuse-749x1024Sexual abuse is an awful situation for anyone to go through, but children are innocent and do not understand what is happening. The child was likely told by the abuser not to tell anyone because no one would believe them and even threaten them to not say anything.  A child might be scared and angry making behavioral changes to be relatively common. Below are some behavioral changes that may be noticed:

  • Child does not want to changes clothes, especially during gym class
  • Withdrawn, depressed and anxiousness
  • Aggressive, poor relationships with peers
  • Negative self-image
  • Lacks confidence and self-care
  • Performance in school declines
  • Substance abuse, recklessness, suicide attempts
  • Sleep disturbances, such as nightmares, fear bedtime and bedwetting
  • Acting out sexually at a young ageimages (5)

Child abuse can leave behind more than bruises from physical abuse and or the inexcusable effects of sexual abuse. Emotional abuse can cause many other scars not visible to the naked eye. Emotional abuse is commonly called psychological abuse because it involves persistent emotional mistreatment of a child causing irreparable damage over time. Approximately 10.6% of adults reported they were emotionally abused as a child.

Emotional abuse is not always easy to detect because it is normally part of other forms of abuse. The issues that are involved with emotional abuse may include:

*Rejecting or ignoring- examples include showing lack of interest in a child, no initiating child-abuse-physical-emotional-sexual-9-638or returning the affection

*Shaming or humiliating- Example include name-calling, mocking, belittling

*Terrorizing- Examples include blaming, accusing, threatening, manipulating, screaming or yelling at the child

*Corrupting- Examples include encouraging bad behavior, pressuring a child into a criminal act

Whether the emotional abuse is being imposed on a child by a parent or caregiver, there are helpful signs to be aware of. I am not including all the signs because there is already a lot for you to read. Below are the signs a parent or caregiver may show:images (10)

  • Plays favorites between siblings
  • Atrocious anger management or emotional self-regulation
  • Terrible relationships with other adults
  • History of violence or abuse
  • Untreated mental illness, alcoholism or substance abuse

When a child is being emotionally abused they could display physical and behavioral images (9)signs. The physical signs may include the following:

  • Developmental delays
  • Speech disorder
  • Health issues such as ulcers and skin disorder
  • Weight problems

Examples of a child’s behavior change are as followed:

  • Learning disabilities and developmental delays
  • Excessively complaint or defensive
  • Intense emotions, aggression, anxieties
  • Destructive or anti-social behaviors
  • Inappropriate behavior (either too childlike or too adult-like)

Child neglect is a form of abuse where the parent or caregiver does not offer the care, supervision, affection, or care necessary for a child’s health, safety, and well-being. This can include physical, emotional, medical, and educational neglect. Child neglect signs are as follows:

  • Deserting a childneglect
  • Continuing to leave a child in another’s care for hours, days, weeks at a time
  • Not providing food and drink, or clothing appropriate to the weather
  • Failing to supervise child for valid safety concerns
  • Allowing a child to be around an inappropriate caregiver
  • Exposing a child to an unsafe or unsanitary environment

Although some states that will not prosecute parents because of religious reasons, the parent can still receive a court order to protect a child’s life. Parents and caregivers are 2ee34a5f1acb222e256a76f8f088f420required to get a child-appropriate medical treatment for injuries and illness. Basic preventative care to ensure children remains safe and healthy is necessary.

Examples of medical negligence include, but not limited to the following:

  • Not taking a child to the hospital or medical professional for serious illness or injury
  • Withholding child from getting treatment
  • Failing to provide preventative medical and dental care for a child
  • Refusing to follow medical recommendations for child

Unfortunately, only one instance of neglect can cause lifelong distress to a child. Neglect tends to require a pattern of behavior over some time. Some signs suggesting a parent or caregiver needs assistance with nurturing and how to protect a child while they are in your care, which includes:unnamed (3)

  • Shows indifference or lack of concern for a child
  • Depression, drug and alcohol abuse or a mental health issue
  • Perceives child negativity
  • Expects a child to take care of themselves

 A child being neglected may show any of the following signs:

  • Clothing does not fit, clothes are dirt and not weather appropriate
  • Often hungry seeks out where the food is, shows signs of malnutrition
  • Low body weight
  • Often overtired and falling asleep during the school day
  • Hygiene problems
  • Untreated medical and dental issues and or incomplete immunizations
  • Frequent changes to schools and or physician

General_Facebook_f1Any form of abuse leaves traumatic memories that can’t be erased. The scars left behind may be a visible daily reminder and the deep-rooted emotional effects throughout life can and do damage a child’s sense of self-esteem. Current and future relationships can be impacted and the ability to function at home and school can be challenging. Effects from child abuse may include the following:

  1. An inability to trust and relationships can be a struggle. The ones a child should be able to trust, a parent or caregiver, so if it is one of these people abusing the child, it is understandable why the child will find trusting almost impossible.
  2. Deep feelings of worthlessness. When a child hears repeatedly negative words used to describe who they are, it becomes extremely difficult to overcome. As abused children grow up, they may neglect their education and settle for jobs with low pay because it is all they feel they are worth. Sexually abused children feel shame images (4)surrounding the abuse and battle with feelings of being damaged, which may allow people in their lives that have bad habits and intentions.
  3. Struggle with balancing emotions. Abused children do not feel safe expressing their emotions. This can result in burying emotions deep down so the emotions can be ignored. Adults that were abused struggle with anxiety, depression, and anger they can’t explain. Often adults that were abused will lean on alcohol and drugs to numb the painful memories.

If a child feels comfortable enough with you to explain what they have experienced, pay very close attention to the child and be compassionate. Of course, it will never be easy to hear about a child being abused, so there are some crucial things to remember and 7686078_0follow:

  1. Avoid reactions of denial and remain calm. If a child senses shock or disgust at what they are telling you, the child will become fearful to continue their story and shut down completely.
  2. Do not interrogate. It is very important to allow the child to explain what they experienced in their own words. If you ask the child leading questions they may get confused and flustered making it difficult to finish their story. The child has shown already they trust you, so trust them to continue.
  3. Reassure the child they did nothing wrong. Explain to the child it took a lot of courage to be willing to share their story with you. It may help the child if you thank them for trusting you and that you are there to help them.
  4. Safety needs to come first. If you feel you or the child is in danger, especially if you child-abuse-survivorsintervene further, leave any more intervention to the professionals.

First, I want to thank you for visiting my site today. Second, I know this information can be very disturbing, I mean it took me several days to complete allowing myself breaks from this painful topic. I think it is important to be aware of what can happen to children and also have ways to offer children comfort. I would love to read any fposter,small,wall_texture,product,750x1000.u2comments you have about the information I have provided.

I hope you are having a good week so far and staying safe! I know someday the new cases of coronavirus will level out and the fatalities will end. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

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❤Always, Alyssa❤