It is overwhelming to think that a child, an innocent and vulnerable being, could be attacked and hurt by loved ones. Unfortunately, child abuse is a reality more common than we would like to accept.
It can also appear before our eyes, in our community and family. Fortunately, there are signs that allow us to detect when this might be happening. Child abuse occurs at all socioeconomic levels, cultures and genders.
Indeed, according to the United Nations (WHO), a quarter of all adults say they were physically abused as a child. That is to say, 25% of the men and women who inhabit this world were injured in their childhood.
How to detect abuse in children?
Beyond the obvious, we can ask what we consider child abuse. What confusions can we have regarding the correction techniques we apply at home? To spank or not to spank? Scream?
To guide us on the subject, we can review the types of abuses deemed harmful to the physical and mental health of minorsas evidenced by this study published in Argentine Archives of Pediatrics:
- Emotional and psychological abuse: the child is shown no affection and is rejected when the baby does. Abuse includes breaking yourself down and telling yourself that you are worthless or useless over and over again. Also isolating him from his family or social environment.
- Physical abuse: wounds are inflicted on the child that are not limited to blowsbut to severe physical punishment involving medical treatment.
- Negligence: the little one is left to his fate. Access to basic necessities is not provided of life, such as food, shelter, clothing, education, medical intervention and protection.
- sexual abuse: Pthere can be a wide range of sexual acts performed towards a childcontact and non-contact. These include threats and manipulations about the meaning of love.
9 signs to identify child abuse
Although maternal intuition makes it easier for us to detect situations hidden from others, a superficial perception it will not be enough to reveal whether or not a child is being abused.
When a child lives with a toxic family, there are patterns of violent behavior. Next, we introduce you 9 signs of child abuse, beyond what the warmth of his gaze can tell us. Let’s review each of them.
1. Setback in development
As evidenced by this article published in Cuban Journal of Comprehensive General Medicineabused children may have behaviors that manifest themselves at an earlier age (regressions). Examples of this are thumb sucking, bed wetting, being afraid of the dark, or being afraid of strangers.
2. They avoid the house and certain people
Express apprehension or anxiety when you leave school. They may also show an unusual fear of a particular person or place.
3. Eating disorders, one of the manifestations of child abuse
The stress, fear and anxiety caused by abuse can lead to changes in a child’s eating behaviors. This can translate into noticeable weight gain or loss.
4. Sleep disturbances
An abused child may show signs of tiredness or fatigue due to difficulty falling asleep, as indicated by this research published in Forensic Medicine Papers.
5. Poor academic performance
Child abuse can be detected in school by excessive absences and lack of attention in class.
6. Lack of personal care and hygiene in case of child abuse
Abandoned children can appear neglected. They also look disheveled and lack proper clothing for the weather. And this is what it emphasizes publication of Journal of the UNAM Faculty of Medicine.
7. Attitudes to risk
Abused youth may dare to experiment with high-risk activities such as using drugs, alcohol or carrying weapons.
8. Inappropriate Conduct
Children who have been abused may exhibit overly sexualized behavior. Even using extremely explicit sexual language.
9. Unexplained injuries
The frequent appearance of burns or bruises on the body can be a sign of abuse in children. Especially if the explanations of the injuries are not convincing.
While these signs may be evidence of child abuse, to a greater or lesser extent, verification that something bad is happening should make us react. Look for ways of intervention in favor of its stability, such as, for example formalize a grievanceit is the most correct.
Mistreat a child and you’ll hurt the man
Sometimes children don’t even realize they are being treated abusively.. In most cases, the assault comes from parents or a close relative who they assume loves them. For this reason the psychological impact is greater and their invisible marks can ruin their adult life.
Depending on the type of abuse inflicted as a child, an adult may suffer from one of the following psychological problems:
- Anxiety: Someone who has been abused may be afraid of people or situations that remind them of the attacks they have experienced. They may fear sexual intimacy, exhibit compulsive behaviors and panic attacks.
- Going: They may feel intense anger towards their abusers and even themselves, particularly when they believe they should have stopped it.
- self-destructive behaviors: An abused adult can become addicted to drugs and alcohol. You can hurt yourself and even sabotage any professional and emotional development efforts.
The most ironic thing that can happen to a person who has experienced child abuse is that as an adult, repeat the aggressions received and become a abuser. It is a spiral of violence that can span generations, so its rescue is essential for society.
overcome child abuse
A psychological intervention in the child can reverse the effects of the abuse and allow early emotional healing. Generally the strategies allow the affected person to explore the feelings of anger, pain, frustration and fear that afflict them, in order to regain a sense of security.
In addition to basic psychotherapy, there are other means that are based on meditation techniques, role-playing, support groups. There are also those related to art that can allow for the development of hidden artistic talents that emerge during healing.
It is crucial that As parents, we should be aware of the influence our education has on our children’s future.. We must always have a clear perspective that the person we are raising will become an adult. He will form his family according to our parameters of love, attention and respect, so we must be careful with our parenting techniques.
And most importantly, we never hesitate to seek professional advice when we deem it necessary. Let’s take care of our children’s future. Let’s avoid child abuse.
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