Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How to Identify Signs of Child Abuse

With 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls undergoing childhood abuse, seeing the signs is important. The physical signs of child abuse are well known, but what happens when the symptoms are hidden and don't include bruises. Here are some of the other less obvious signs that a child is potentially in an abusive situation.

Discount grades and academic achievement as a sign of a well adjusted child. Children who are ritually or frequently abused learn to adapt and hide all symptoms of their abuse. Rather than just worrying about the child with low grades, the child who overachieves and places all their time and focus on academics may be exhibiting escape behaviors.

Watch for sudden extrovert behaviors in a suspected abused child. Children who play the class clown or seem happy and friendly all the time may be undergoing severe abuse. They don't wish to deal with the reality of their own life and so place a thick happy mask on their feelings and circumstances.

Note risk taking behavior or an adventurous personality as a sign of possible abuse. Another method of escape and an indicator of low self worth, the abused child may test their mind and body to extremes, participate in dangerous activities or deliberately place themselves in harm's way. Observe those children who seem willing to try anything for other signs of abuse.

Be aware that children undergoing abuse will go out of their way to help others. When a child always seems focused on the minor problems and worries of their friends and always seems to put others first, they could be enduring abuse. A sense that they are less than others or not worth worrying about is the behavior of a child who feels small or useless. This is a sign of abuse.

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