child abuse

It’s hard to imagine why an adult would physically harm a child. Each year in the United States, 3.4 million 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. In the United States, child abuse is so rampant that a report of child abuse is made every ten seconds (Source: ChildHelp.org)

There are four main types of child abuse: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. If you suspect child abuse, take a look at the types of warning signs that are listed below and report it to Child Protective Services immediately.

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 statistics

  • In 2014, state agencies identified an estimated 1,580 children who died as a result of abuse and neglect — between four and five children a day.
  • More than 70% of the children who died as a result of child abuse or neglect were two years of age or younger. More than 80% were not yet old enough for kindergarten.
  • Around 80% of child maltreatment fatalities involve at least one parent as perpetrator.

Child Abuse Support Groups and Hotlines

Safety Alert: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.

Long term affects of child abuse

Children who have experienced child abuse may be at risk for long-term problems that can last a lifetime. Even though child abuse and neglect are separated into physical, mental and emotional factors, it’s hard to separate them completely. If a child has had head injuries due to child abuse, it can damage their brain, which can lead to psychological problems such as cognitive delays or emotional difficulties.

Not all children who have been abused will experience long-term consequences. Factors of long-term consequences includes the child’s age and developmental point in at which the abuse took place. The type and severity also plays a huge factor in long-term effects of child abuse.

The immediate effects of physical child abuse can be minor or severe and sometimes deadly. Study shows that child abuse and neglect can cause certain regions in the brain to not grow properly, resulting in psychological disabilities.

Study show’s that as many as 80% of young adults who were abused as a child met the criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder by the age of 21. Children who have experienced some form of child abuse or neglect will most likely suffer from social difficulties such as personality disorders and violent behavior.

Research shows that abused and neglected children will be most likely to experience delinquency at school, teen pregnancy, drug use, and mental problems. Study shows that abusive parents often have experienced abuse during their childhood, and their children are at a higher risk of experiencing abuse.