Where is the Love? Stand Strong Against Child Abuse
Child abuse is more than physical bruises and broken bones. Although physical abuse might be the most visible sign, other types of abuse, such as emotional abuse or child neglect, also leave deep, long lasting scars.
Some signs of child abuse are subtler than others. However, by learning common types of abuse and what you can do, you can make a huge difference in a child’s life. The earlier abused children get help, the greater chance they have to heal from their abuse and not perpetuate the cycle.
Learn the signs and symptoms of child abuse and help break the cycle, finding out where to get help for the children and their caregivers. You may also visit www.preventchildabuse.org for more information. And, if you know a child who you suspect is being abused, please call 1-800-4-A-CHILD.
Some Facts About Child Abuse
* 84 percent of prison inmates were abused as children.
* One in three girls and one in five boys are sexually abused by an adult at some time during childhood. (Most sexual abusers are someone in the family or someone the child knows, not the proverbial stranger with a lollipop.)
* Families with four or more children have higher rates of abuse and neglect, especially if their living conditions are crowded or they live in isolated areas.
* More than 80 percent of abusers are a parent or someone close to a child. Child abuse is far more likely to occur in the child's home than in a day care center.
* One in thirteen kids with a parent on drugs is physically abused regularly. (Drug and alcohol abuse in the family makes child abuse about twice as likely.)
* One out of ten babies born today are born to mothers who are abusing drugs. Drinking and smoking heavily during pregnancy also endangers the health of unborn children.
Some Signs of Child Abuse
* A child who is apathetic (just doesn't care).
* A child who suffers from depression.
* A child who won't take part in play or school activities.
* A child who is often hostile or aggressive.
* A child with a loss of appetite.
* A child who compulsively overeats
* Any of the signs above.
* A child who is hungry much of the time.
* A child wandering outdoors unsupervised.
* A child unsuitably dressed for the weather.
* A child who is continually dirty or wearing the same soiled clothes.
* A child who shows up early or stays late at school.
* Bruises or welts shaped like an object (belt buckle or electric cord).
* Bruises in unusual places (back, eyes, mouth, buttocks, genital areas, thighs, calves).
* Layers of different colored bruises in the same general area.
* "Sock" or "glove" burns on feet or hands or doughnut shaped burns on buttocks (from forcing the child into hot water).
* Small round burns from cigarettes.
* Burns in the shape of an object (iron, fireplace tool, or heater).
* Rope burns on ankles, wrists, or torso.
* Adult sized bite marks.
* Suspicious fractures (doctors and nurses are trained to recognize these).
* Withdrawal or anti-social attitude.
* Refusal to undress for physical education or sports.
* Exaggerated interest in sex or "acting out" sex with other children.
* Unusually seductive behavior.
* Fear of intimate contact (hugging or sports)
* Torn, stained, or bloodied clothing.