What to do if you suspect Child Abuse:
- Avoid denial and stay calm. If the child has come to you with abuse, they trust you enough to know that you are going to do your best to help them. Don’t let them down.
- Don’t interrogate the child, allow them to explain what happened in their own words.
- Reassure the child that they did nothing wrong, and that they are doing the right thing by coming to you, or admitting what has happened to them.
The National Child Abuse Hotline is 1 (800) 422-4453 or www.childhelp.org
Signs of Child Abuse from Child:
- Unexplained injuries or injuries that do not fit the explanations of how they occurred.
- Untreated medical/dental problems
- Sexual behavior inappropriate for age
- Blood in underwear
- Trouble walking
- Abuse of other children
- Delayed/inappropriate development
- Loss of self-confidence
- Social withdraw/depression
- Headaches/stomach aches
- Avoidance of certain situations
- Poor hygiene
- Lack of clothing/supplies
- Stealing/hoarding food
- Isolation, unusual quietness, keeping away from others
Signs of Child Abuse from Parent:
- Shows little concern for child
- Appears unable to recognize physical and emotional distress in child.
- Denies problems exist, or blames them onto child
- Constantly blames, belittles, or berates the child
- Uses harsh disciple/encourages others to use harsh discipline
- Severely limits children’s contact with others
Child Abuse Statistics:
- 6 million referrals are made to Child Protective agencies involving more than 6.6 million children per year.
- The United States loses on average 4 to 7 children a day to child abuse and neglect.
- A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds
- 80% of 21 year olds who reported childhood abuse met the criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
- In 2014, state agencies identified an estimated 1580 children who died because of abuse or neglect. However, studies also indicate a 50% or more undercounting of fatalities.
- More than 70% of reported cases of children that died because of abuse or neglect, died before they were 2 years old.
- More than 80% of reported cases of abuse or neglect that ended in death, were not even old enough to begin kindergarten.
- Around 80% of the abuse cases that are investigated include one parent as the perpetrator.
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