Child abuse cases are reported more than 3 million times every year in the United States. Child abuse is caused when a parent, guardian, or care giver causes risk of serious harm, death, injury or emotional harm to a child. This can be caused by the parents actions or their failure to act.
There are many people who confuse discipline and abuse. The two are vastly different. Discipline is actions taken with the desire to instill positive change in the person receiving it. Abuse is done for the self-gratification of the person giving it. Discipline is accepted by society as a natural consequence to what maybe considered wrong or harmful actions.
As adults if we commit a crime such as stealing, we may get sentenced to jail time. That jail time is the discipline society has set for the purpose of changing the behavior of the perpetrator in a positive way. We must teach our children the difference between the two. This is so that they can recognize if they or someone else is suffering from child abuse.
There are many different forms of child abuse. This article will deal with physical and sexual child abuse.
Physical Child Abuse
Child abuse physically is when a parent or guardian causes non accidental injury to a child. Over 28% of adults report being abused as a child. Physical abuse can result in bruises, cuts, broken bones, scratches, emotional and physiological trauma. Physical child Abuse can even lead to death. Some signs of physical abuse are:
- visible or severe injuries
- injuries on different parts of the body
- injuries on babies that are not crawling yet
- parent or guardians failure to explain where injuries came from
- Timing and or frequency of injuries (after vacations, weekends, when certain adults visit etc.)
- delays or stops medical care for child
- Child never sees the same doctor twice
If you see any of this on any child get help immediately.
Sexual Child Abuse
Sexual child abuse occurs when an adult uses a child for sexual purposes, gratification or uses the child in sexual acts. Almost 21% of adults reported being sexual abused as a child. Sexual child abuse includes:
- contact and non contact abuse
- making a child view or expose their sex organs
- fondling or oral sex
- inappropriate sexual talk
- causing a child to perform sex acts
There are many signs that can alert you if your child is a victim of child abuse.
- Difficult time sitting, running, walking or going to the bathroom
- Withdrawn and doesn’t want to change clothes
- Bloody, torn, or stained underwear
- Bruises and bleeding in gentile area
- Any sexually transmitted diseases or urinary tract infections
- sleep disturbances and nightmares
- lack of confidence and poor self image
If you see any of these signs in your child contact the authorities immediately. Child abuse is a big problem but with your help we can prevent your child from becoming a victim.