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Child Abuse

It's hard to imagine why an adult would physically harm a child. Each year in the United States, tens of thousands of children have been mentally, physically, or emotionally abused. The first step in helping an abused or neglected child is learning the signs of child abuse and neglect.

There are four main types of child abuse. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect are the most common types of child abuse and neglect. If you suspect child abuse going on, take a look at the types of warning signs that are listed below.

Physical abuse. The act of physical abuse occurs when the adult takes out his or hers aggression on the child that causes injury. Signs of physical abuse are:

  • The child has bruises, bites, burns, broken bones, or black eyes
  • Marks or bruises after staying home from school
  • The child is frightened by their parent or care giver
  • The child runs away at the sight of an adult.

Emotional Neglect. Emotional neglect occurs when the parent or caregiver fails to provide basic needs for a child. The failure to provide the basic needs for a children can affect the child's physical or psychological well-being. Signs of emotional neglect are:

  • Clothes that are dirty and not suitable for the weather.
  • Lack of parental supervision
  • Colds, rashes, and fevers that are not treated properly.
  • Evidence of hunger. Stealing food, eating to fast or too much, and looking for food in trash cans.
  • Frequent days of missing school and disruptive behavior in class.
  • Permitting the child to drink alcohol or use drugs.
  • Failure to provide health care when the child is sick.

Sexual abuse. The adult who usually sexually abuse a child is often someone the child knows. Often, children who have been sexually abused will show no physical signs. In many cases, the abuse isn't detected unless a physician see's evidence of forced sexual activity. Signs of sexual abuse are:

  • Interest or knowledge of sexual behavior.
  • Sexual behavior
  • refuses to undress in front of others
  • fears a certain member of the family
  • Has difficulty sitting down
  • Has nightmares
  • Becomes pregnant or contracts a venereal disease

Child Abuse Support Groups and Hotlines

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