CAN YOU RECOGNIZE CHILD ABUSE?
Child abuse comes in many forms, and there are no guaranteed signs that make it easy to recognize. It is important to realize that children might put in a lot of effort to make sure abuse is not discovered. Here are ten common signs of abuse, but remember that abuse can take different forms. If you suspect abuse, report it.
3. Return to Earlier Behavior
Visible signs of physical abuse can include unexplained injuries or bruises in the shape of objects. There also might be unconvincing explanations for the injuries.
1. Unexplained Injuries
Children experiencing abuse may display behaviors from earlier ages, such as thumb-sucking or bed-wetting. Sometimes, loss of acquired language or memory problems are seen.
5. Changes in Eating
A child’s eating patterns may be affected by fear and stress from abuse. As a result, the child may gain or lose weight.
7. Changes in School Performance or Attendance
Children experiencing abuse may have difficulty concentrating in schools or might have excessive absences. Sometimes this is because an adult is trying to hide signs of the child’s abuse.
9. Risk-Taking Behaviors
Children and adolescents experiencing abuse may engage in high-risk activities such as substance use or carrying a weapon.
2. Changes in Behavior
Children experiencing abuse often have behavioral changes and may present as anxious, scared, depressed, withdrawn, or aggressive.
4. Fear of Going Home
Children experiencing abuse may show anxiety about leaving school or when going to places with the person who is abusing them.
6. Changes in Sleeping
Children suffering from abuse may have frequent nightmares or have difficulty falling asleep. They may appear tired and fatigued.
8. Lack of Personal Care or Hygiene
Children suffering from abuse or neglect might appear uncared for. They may be consistently dirty.
10. Inappropriate Sexual Behaviors
Children and adolescents who are being sexually abused may exhibit overly sexualized behavior or use sexually explicit language.