Child abuse is much more than bruises and physical damage. Though, physical damage is visible and leaves scars, but, other types of abuse like emotional abuse and child neglect have much deeper and lasting damage.
Ignoring a child’s needs, leaving unsupervised among strangers or dangerous situations, and making child feel worthless and unwanted is also a kind of child abuse that results in serious emotional harm.
Damaging Effects of Child Abuse
Lack of trust in relationships – When the primary caregiver of the child abuses, then fundamental values of safety, reliability and trust gets shattered.
A child’s physical and emotional needs should be met by the caregiver otherwise child under fear of being used or abused will develop unhealthy relationships throughout his life. An abused child is afraid to believe or trust anyone.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
Fearful and anxious with thought of doing something wrong every time. Complete or partial withdraw and not attempting any new thing and meeting people. Show Extreme behavior, either extremely passive or extremely aggressive.
Acts as an inappropriate adult (try taking care of children) or inappropriate infant (thumb sucking, throwing tantrums). Not seems to be attached to parent or caregiver and feels an emotional void
Signs of Physical Abuse
Frequent injuries, bruises, cuts on the child. Shows alert and watchful behavior as if something bad is going to happen. Afraid of touch or sudden movements or gestures.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
Experiences trouble in sitting and walking. Shows strong inhibition from specific person or specific gender. Interests in sexual acts that is inappropriate for that age. Likes to remain isolated and avoid people.
Ways of Talking With an Abused Child
Avoid shocking and disgust reaction to child abuse. Displaying denial may create a fear in child and he or she may stop sharing the event with you. Though difficult, try to be calm, poise and reassuring as much as you can.
Avoid interrupting and let the child express in his or her own way. Interrogating may confuse the child of being doubted and makes it harder to share the details.
Provide reassurance that it is not the child’s fault and listen every word of him/her seriously. It takes immense courage to talk about such happening, so support him to put it out properly.
Myths and Facts of Child abuse
It is Only an Abuse When it is Violent
Violent abuses are easy to decipher but emotional changes are also signs of child abuse. Only bad people abuse their children sometimes it is just state of the mind that may cause abusing, though, unintentionally, abusing could happen if parent put out anger on his child. Keep check on your acts to avoid it.
Most child abusers are strangers this belief shield the family members or close relatives act and makes it more difficult for child to tell the truth, since nobody believes them if its home bound. As a result, abusing continues and child is under immense trouble, with no escape.
Abused children always become abusers not necessarily, on the contrary, mostly they become more protective for their children and over shield them as they have faced the bitter realities. But they may be doubted even without abusing, by the people, who are judgmental beyond realities.