Lesson 3 , Child Abuse & Neglect .
There are a lot of things that people assume about abuse and neglect, and honestly the majority of these things aren’t true . First off, there isn’t a certain type of family that abuses or person that gets abused. Child abuse can happen to anyone . There aren’t racial, economic, or cultural boundaries when it comes to neglect .
Another thing that’s commonly confused about abusers is that they are “bad people”, not necessarily . Anyone you see along the street can be abusing their children . Even if they aren’t typically bad people . Someone could have anger issues or drinking problems, and tend to take it out on their children .
Also, abused children don’t always grow up to be child abusers, even though it has been likely for them to fall back into the same cycle as their parents . A lot of times though, children who were abused use it as an excuse for them not to treat their kids like that .
Physical Abuse .
Physical abuse involves physical harm or injury to the child. It may be the result of a deliberate attempt to hurt the child, but not always . It can also result from severe discipline, such as using a belt on a child, or physical punishment that is inappropriate to the child’s age or physical condition .
Many physically abusive parents and caregivers insist that their actions are simply forms of discipline—ways to make children learn to behave . But there is a big difference between using physical punishment to discipline and physical abuse . The point of disciplining children is to teach them right from wrong, not to make them live in fear .
Physical abuse is just one type of child abuse . Neglect and emotional abuse can be just as damaging, and since they are more subtle, others are less likely to intervene .
Emotional Abuse .
Emotional abuse can severely damage a child’s mental health or social development, leaving lifelong psychological scars . Examples of emotional child abuse include :
- Constant shaming, and humiliating a child .
- Calling names and making negative comparisons .
- Telling a child he or she is “no good," "worthless," "bad," or "a mistake ."
- Frequent yelling, threatening, or bullying .
- Ignoring or rejecting a child as punishment, giving him or her the silent treatment .
- Limited physical contact with the child—no hugs, kisses, or other signs of affection .
- Exposing the child to violence or the abuse of others, whether it be the abuse of a parent, a sibling, or even a pet .
Child Neglect .
Child neglect, a very common type of child abuse, is a pattern of failing to provide for a child's basic needs, whether it be food, clothing, hygiene, or supervision . Child neglect is not always easy to spot . Sometimes, a parent might become physically or mentally unable to care for a child, such as with a serious injury, untreated depression, or anxiety . Other times, alcohol or drug abuse may seriously impair judgment and the ability to keep a child safe .
Sexual Abuse .
Child sexual abuse is an especially complicated form of abuse because of its guilt and shame . It's important to recognize that sexual abuse doesn't always involve body contact. Exposing a child to sexual situations or material is sexually abusive, whether or not touching is involved .
While news stories of sexual predators are scary, what is even more frightening is that sexual abuse usually occurs at the hands of someone the child knows and should be able to trust—most often close relatives. And contrary to what many believe, it’s not just girls who are at risk . Boys and girls both suffer from sexual abuse . In fact, sexual abuse of boys may be underreported due to shame .
Preventing Abuse .
There are different things you can do to prevent abuse, taking steps to try to prevent can possibly change a child’s life . You can use these tips to help you realize someone is getting abused, whether it is physical, emotional, sexual, or neglect .
- Learn to recognize the signs .
- Provide a listening ear .
- Offer help or babysit for a stressed parent .
- Give helpful or supportive information .
- Explain that violence is not OK .
- Talk it over with an experienced person .
Students can look over this pdf file for extra infortmation on abuse, https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/whatiscan.pdf .