Presentation on theme: "What is Child Abuse? Any mistreatment of a child that results in harm or injury."— Presentation transcript:
What is Child Abuse? Any mistreatment of a child that results in harm or injury.
Almost one million children are abused or neglected each year. More than one thousand die. Many will be abused again –and again. The number of reported child abuse cases is believed to be only a fraction of the actual cases. The number of children who are abused may be as many as three times higher –about 3 million. Child abuse can be difficult to talk about. But we have to talk about it –and learn how to prevent it.
Child Abuse includes: Physical Abuse: --for example, purposely hurting a child by hitting, biting or shaking. Emotional Abuse: --crushing a child’s spirit with threats or put- downs, threatening or insulting a child. Sexual Abuse: --sexual contact with a child; using a child for sexual films or prostitution; obscene or suggestive language. Neglect: --failing to provide for a child’s emotional needs (love, attention, etc.) or physical needs (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) or failing to offer supervision, education or medical care.
Physical Signs Note any unusual pattern or location of injuries, such as: Bruises, welts or broken bones Cuts or scrapes Burns Missing hair Injuries or redness around the genitals Injuries at different stages or healing Injury or medical condition that hasn’t been properly treated.
Abuse can lead to major changes in behavior, such as: Wearing clothing inappropriate for the weather to hide injuries Seeming withdrawn or depressed Seeming afraid to go home, or running away from home Shying away from physical contact Being aggressive Craving for attention Lacking in concentration Having frequent tardiness or absence from school Child Behavioral Signs of Physical Abuse
Adult’s Behavior An adult who is abusing a child may: Harshly punish the child in public. Refer to the child as “difficult,” “different,” or “bad.” Seem unconcerned about the child. Give conflicting stories about injuries. Become defensive when asked about the child’s health.
Sexual Abuse Signs The child may have: Torn, stained or bloody underwear Trouble walking or sitting Pain or itching in the genital area Bruises or bleeding in the genital area A sexually transmitted disease.
Sexual Abuse Behavioral Signs The child may: Have an unusual knowledge of sex or act seductively Fear a particular person Seem withdrawn or depressed Gain or lose weight suddenly Shy away from physical contact Run away from home.
Emotional Abuse Signs The child may have: Speech disorder Slowed physical development Conduct/habit disorders Delinquent behavior Substance abuse behavior Most signs of emotional abuse are behavioral.
Emotional Abuse Behavioral Signs The child may: Act too mature or too childish for his age or her age Have difficulty making or keeping friends Have extreme behavioral changes.
Neglect Physical Signs The child may have: Poor hygiene Slowed physical development, or may appear underweight Unattended medical needs Little or no supervision at home.
Neglect Behavioral Signs The child may: Arrive at school very early or late, or miss school often Be frequently tired or hungry Steal food Dress inappropriately for the weather.
There is no “TYPICAL” child abuser They come from all economic, ethnic, and social groups. Many are “ordinary” people - such as your neighbors, co-workers or relatives – who are having serious personal problems. Very few child abusers have severe mental illnesses.
There is no “TYPICAL” child abuser Most know and love the children they abuse. Often, children are abused by a parent, another relative or a family friend. It’s less common for children to be abused by a stranger. People with low self- esteem or a need to control may abuse a child in order to feel powerful and in control.
There is no “TYPICAL” child abuser Alcohol or other drugs may play a part. There may be a history of abuse. Many abusers were themselves abused as children. They sometimes grow up thinking abuse is “normal.” Poor control over emotions. Many abusers are easily overwhelmed by their feelings.
STRESS is a major factor in child abuse. Too much stress can push even the strongest person to the limit. Some common sources of stress include: Financial Troubles Social isolation Marital problems Lack of parenting skills Illness Abuse or alcohol and other drugs
You can help prevent abuse! Listen carefully to children –they may talk about abuse indirectly. Teach children what to do if approached or abuse. Let children know they can speak openly with you. Discuss sexuality with your child in an open and honest way. Report abuse.
Reporting Abuse If you suspect abuse –or if a child tells you about abuse –making a report is very important. Anyone can make a report. Some people are required to report suspected abuse such as school personnel, physicians, nurses, child care personnel, law enforcement and social workers. Any reasonable suspicion should be reported. This includes: a child telling you about abuse, witnessing the abuse, a parent’s statement of abuse or any physical or behavioral signs. Don’t delay. Never assume someone else will report the abuse.
What to report: The child’s name, a description of the child Child age (if unknown, give an approximate age) Address or where the child can be found. The suspected abuser (name, relationship to the child or a description of the person). The type of abuse suspected The child’s parents or guardian Your knowledge of past abuse Other witnesses Your relationship to the child
There is no excuse for child abuse! REPORT it at: 1-800-252-5400 or https://reportabuse.ws
Universal Child Abuse Prevention is brought to you by ACCESS/STAR Program 804 S. Main St. Jacksonville, TX 75766 (903) 586-3175 STAR Crisis Hotline : 1-877-811-1289 www.accessmhmr.org Link to STAR Funded by Department of Family and Protective Services