What is Child Abuse?

 

Child Abuse can be broken down into four distinct categories:

 

• Physical abuse

 

• Sexual abuse

 

• Emotional/Psychological abuse

 

• Neglect

KNOW THE SIGNS:

 

Developmental

  • Failure to thrive

  • Delayed physical development

  • Speech disorders

  • Attachment issues, such as seeking comfort and attention from others or difficulty forming relationships

 

Physical

  • Lack of adequate supervision, nutrition, shelter

  • Poor hygiene

  • Rashes and skin abrasions

  • Bruises or fractures

  • Frequently home alone or without appropriate supervision

 

Educational

  • Infrequent attendance in school

  • Excessive tardiness

  • Lack of school supplies

  • Incomplete or missing homework or school forms

 

Medical

  • Unattended medical or dental needs

  • Regular illnesses

 

Behavioral

  • Low self-esteem

  • Behavior extremes, such as appearing overly passive or very aggressive

  • Substance abuse

  • Fear of adults 

 

 

Myths of Child Abuse

 

MYTH #1:   It's only abuse if it’s violent.

Fact:   Emotional abuse, Sexual abuse, and Neglect are also forms of abuse.

 

MYTH #2:   Only bad people abuse their children. 

Fact:   Many abusers have been victims themselves, and don’t know any other way to parent; others may be struggling with mental health or substance abuse problems. 

 

MYTH #3:   Child abuse doesn’t happen in “good” families. 

Fact:   Child abuse crosses all racial, economic, and cultural lines. 

 

MYTH #4:   Most child abusers are strangers. 

Fact:   Often, abusers are family members or others close to the family.

 

MYTH #5:   Most children do something to cause the abuse to occur. 

FACT:   The child is always the victim. The responsibility for the abuse lies with the adult.

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