Child Abuse Awareness

Child Abuse Awareness

Jaiden McDonough, Reporter

Child Abuse Awareness 

By- Jaiden McDonough 

There are many different forms of child abuse and noticing the signs in a child can help them get out of that situation and get to a better place. The forms of child abuse are physical, sexual, emotional, medical, and neglect. It is extremely important to look for symptoms of child abuse because it can cause a number of problems and risk factors for that child in the future. There are also certain behaviors to look for not only in the child but also in the parents as well. Child abuse causes many complications that will harm the child in that moment and will carry out with them throughout their lives. There are ways to prevent child abuse to keep occurring and knowing how to help is very important.


Forms of Child Abuse  

One form of child abuse is physical abuse which The Mayo Clinic states “Physical abuse occurs when a child is purposely physically injured or put at risks of harm by another person.” Another form of child abuse is sexual abuse where if there is any sexual activity with a minor is considered sexual abuse. A third form of abuse is emotional abuse which is when a child’s self-esteem and emotional well-being is being brought down. The Mayo Clinic also states that emotional abuse “includes verbal and emotional assault such as continually belittling or berating a child.” A fourth form of child abuse is medical abuse which can occur when a parent or guardian gives out false information about illnesses a child has putting that child at risks of an injury and unnecessary medical attention. The last form of child abuse is neglect where a parent or legal guardian fails to provide proper food, shelter, care, affection, and education for their child. 


Symptoms of Child Abuse 

If a child is being abused they often feel as if they can’t tell anyone or may not trust people so they will not tell anyone. Some symptoms of child abuse can be withdrawals they can become distant with friends or activities. Sometimes the child may not want to go home or their school activity may change like grades may start dropping. They may even start to self-harm because of the abuse they are going through. There can be injuries that do not match the story they said on how they got hurt. They can have very low self-esteem, social withdrawal, they avoid different situations, poor hygiene, and there are many more symptoms to look out for. 


Behaviors and Complications 

Noticing behaviors in children can indicate if they are being abused in their homes so knowing them can help someone. Mayoclinic states that a child may “ withdraw, abuse others, have problems in school, and have low self- esteem.” They may even have depression and have violent behaviors. Child abuse can cause substance abuse, PTSD, and cause the child to isolate themselves. Child abuse can also cause many mental issues as well such as depression, eating disorders, anger problems, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and many more. Looking at how the parents behave is also an indicator of if they are abusing a child. They might show little to no concern for the child, use harsh discipline tactics, blame the child for different things, and can limit social interactions. Looking for this type of behavior is very important for children and helping to keep them safe. 


Prevention for Child Abuse 

Every child deserves to be and live in a safe environment and to be kept safe. Knowing how to prevent child abuse keeps them safe and can also help prevent future problems. Ways to prevent it can be showing your child love and attention, stop reacting in anger, teach your child to stay safe, and also reach out if you think another kid is being abused or you may be abusing a child. Some hotlines are Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: (1-800-422-4453), Prevent Child Abuse America: (1-800-244-5373), and the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: (1-800-392-3738). Preventing child abuse can save children and help them stay safe.