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Child Abuse: A Fatal Social Disease

Updated on April 15, 2018
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Brian Middleton has a Masters of Education from Southern Utah University. He spends most of his time working as a behavior specialist.

How to Help

First off, if you suspect child abuse, please report it as soon as possible.

You can report child abuse within the U.S.A. and Canada by calling 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).

Within the U.K. 0808-800-5000.

Within Australia 1-800-688-009.

Within New Zealand 0800-543-754.

If you live in another nation please Google search the name of your nation with Child Abuse Hotline typed after.
Reporting is anonymous. Please report only cases that seem to be real abuse. Just because you don't like a family or the parents of a child does not mean it is acceptable to report. That being said, if there is any evidence of real abuse, please be aware you can change the life of a child for the better by reporting it.

About Child Protective Services

Child Protective Services Agents are required to follow all the laws of the land in investigation. When interviewing a child, it is the law that the agent cannot suggest possible abuses to the child. There are horror stories about an agent coaching the child on what to say. This is a thing of the past and does not happen anymore.

Child Protective Services was created to prevent the damage that bad parents can do to children through neglect and abuse. Realize that while a child is not of age yet, they are still citizens of the nation you live in and they have rights. Parents have the right to teach, care and protect their children, but that does not give a parent the right to physically, sexually and/or mentally abuse a child. That also means the parent does not have a right to neglect the child or children.

How to look for Physical Abuse

It is normal for kids to have bruises, but there are bruises that are danger signs. Line bruises, extremely large bruises, if the child won't say were the bruise came from and/or the child has a different story about the bruise every time they are asked. The last case it is important to realize that the child may just not remember, but if the child is lying, this may be a danger sign.

Other signs of abuse would be if the child is moving very slow and is in pain. Some bad parents realize people like you are concerned about the welfare of their child even if they are not. These people will harm the child in areas that are not visible. There are even parents that inflict physical harm that leaves no visible marks. Be aware.

Signs of Sexual Abuse

It is a very sad fact that the majority of perpetrators of sexual abuse are male and family members. These cases are the hardest to detect. The danger signs are there and any one of these signs by themselves usually means nothing, but if there are multiple there is a possibility of sexual abuse. These signs also exhibit during times of stress like a death in the family, the death of a pet, during divorce, problems with school, friends or even parents and other traumatic events such as accidents etc. The danger signs are as follows:

  • Having nightmares or other sleep problems without explanation.
  • They Seems distracted or distant at strange times.
  • Has a sudden change in eating habits such as,
    • Refusal to eat.
    • Loses or drastic increases appetite.
    • Having trouble with swallowing.
  • Sudden mood swings such as rage, fear, insecurity &/or withdrawal.
  • Leaving “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues.
  • Writes, draws, plays or dreams of sexual &/or frightening images.
  • Develops new or unusual fear of certain people, places or things.
  • Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child.
  • Talks about a new older friend.
  • Suddenly has money, toys or other gifts without reason.
  • Thinks of themselves or their body as repulsive, dirty or bad.
  • Exhibits adult-like sexual behaviors, language and knowledge.

Signs of Mental or Emotional Abuse

This is the hardest to define because what is considered emotional abuse can be perpetrated by any person under stress. A parent who has had a very stressful day and yells at their child when they do something annoying or stupid. Abuse is something that is consistent and continuous. The key with this sort of abuse is to be aware of how you treat others and how others treat others. Don't be afraid to stand up for those who can't do it for themselves.

Be Aware to Save the Future

Children are our future and abuse of them is a destructive disease on our society. The impact of abuse on a child can have generations of effect. There are people who have a huge impact on children's lives. Family and teachers are just a few. When these people turn a blind eye to abuse or even perpetrate it, there is a little chance of detection. I have heard of families that ignored the signs of sexual abuse by a cousin to one of the children because they loved him so well. This, in my opinion, is evil. Any person who could perpetrate cruelty to children would be better off tying an anvil around their neck to going for a swim to paraphrase Jesus.

So be aware of the children in your lives. Be aware of how they are. You are not being a nosy busy body. You are saving the future from a disease that could destroy our society.

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