Unfortunately, child abuse and neglect are acute public problems nowadays. These adverse childhood experiences have a long-term impact on children’s health and psychological well-being. Abuse and neglect may come from parents, caregivers or other individuals like a coach, teacher or a religious leader.
Recognizing child abuse and neglect
The very first step to help abused or neglected children is recognizing the signs of those issues. Let’s consider them in more detail below.
A victim of abusive or neglecting attitude shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance. Such children often have learning problems, like difficulty concentrating, that are not caused by specific physical or psychological issues. Abused or neglected individuals are always watchful. It looks like they are preparing for something bad to happen. They also lack adult supervision and don’t receive help for physical or medical problems. Those children may be passive and overly compliant. Sometimes, they come to school too early, stay there late and don’t want to go home.
Speaking about parents, they show little concern for their child, denying the existence of problems. They may even blame the child for their problems in school or at home, seeing them as burdensome and worthless. In some cases, they ask teachers to use harsh physical discipline. Abusive parents are typically too demanding. They want their children to reach a level of physical or academic performance that they can’t achieve. Such parents look to the child for care and satisfaction of their emotional needs.
Find more information about child abuse
To protect children from abuse, you should know about its indicators. First of all, abused children show extremes in behavior, such as passivity or aggression. They may also be inappropriately infantile or inappropriately adult. By the way, looking for child abuse essay examples is a great idea to learn more about this issue. They usually contain a lot of well-researched information that can help you deepen your knowledge on this topic. Another indicator of abuse is delayed physical or emotional development. In the worst-case scenario, abused or neglected children make suicide attempts.
How adults can end abuse and neglect
Oftentimes, people are afraid to report the cases of abuse or neglect because they don’t want to be responsible for a family break up. And sometimes, they just don’t want to be involved in someone else’s problem. However, you must know that by reporting suspected child abuse or neglect, you could save a child’s life. Here is what you can do to prevent this problem.
Learn the signs of the problem to recognize it at an early stage. Now you must know that unexplained injuries are not the only signs of abuse. Some other indicators are: depression, difficulty trusting others, sudden changes in behavior, hostility, secrecy and fear of a certain adult.
Once you have enough information about the issue, share it with others! Educate people around you by creating mentoring programs or giving parent classes. You can also organize after-school activities and community events in your area. Besides, it’s important to teach children their rights. If you help them understand that they have the right to be safe, they will not think that abuse is their fault. Therefore, they are more likely to report an offender. Believe it or not, this simple support can be an effective way to prevent child abuse.
If you notice that your friends or relatives are stressed out and might hurt their children, suggest getting some help. You can even offer contacts of a counseling service or religious group that provide support. This way, you will stop the problem before it starts.
In case you suspect a child is being hurt by someone, you should report your suspicion to a local or state agency as soon as possible. You can find a number of a crisis hotline in a telephone directory to let them know that you’ve witnessed something wrong.
By the way, some people are required by law to report suspected neglect or abuse. For example, it must be done by doctors, nurses, mental health experts, dentists, social workers, teachers and law enforcement personnel. After making a report, a child protection worker may visit the family to see how serious the situation is.
Children totally depend on adults as they grow up. Unfortunately, not all of them live in a caring, loving environment. Sometimes, little ones are abused or neglected. This is a serious social problem that needs effective solutions. Hopefully, this article helped you understand how you can help kids that need protection.
Cory Shilling is a mental health expert and writer. She works as a psychologist at one of the US high schools, helping children go through challenging times. As a hobby, Cory also writes a blog about Developmental Psychology.
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