Warning signs of Abuse
Recognize the warning signs. The behavior of children may signal abuse or neglect long before any change in physical appearance.
Abused children may seem:
- Nervous around adults or afraid of certain adults
- Reluctant to go home (coming to school early or staying late for example)
- Very passive and withdrawn
or aggressive and disruptive
- Tired a lot or they may complain of nightmares or not sleeping well
- Fearful and anxious
Remember the risk factors. Child abuse and neglect occur in all segments of our society, but the risk is greater in isolated families and those where parents have problems with drugs or alcohol.
Information from Child Help USA
Long-term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect
An estimated 906,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect in 2003 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005). While physical injuries may or may not be immediately visible, abuse and neglect can have consequences for children, families, and society that last lifetimes, if not generations.
This fact sheet provides an overview of some of the most common physical, psychological, behavioral, and societal consequences of child abuse and neglect, while acknowledging that much crossover among categories exists. Click here for the fact sheet.
Effects of Abuse on the Brain
Trauma is a major reason why abused children are more likely to become depressed, suicidal, aggressive, anxious, hyperactive, and impulsive. The traumatized brain can become chemically “sensitized” to danger making the abused child more reactive and hyper vigilant, constantly on alert for danger in the environment. Read the article.
What Are the Effects of Child Sexual Abuse?
The effects of sexual abuse extend far beyond childhood. Sexual abuse robs children of their childhood and creates a loss of trust, feelings of guilt and self-abusive behavior. It can lead to antisocial behavior, depression, identity confusion, loss of selfesteem and other serious emotional problems. It can also lead to difficulty with intimate relationships later in life. Visit the American Humane Association website for more information.
Did You Know?
More than 50% of children under age five who are victims of homicide are killed by a parent.
Bureau of Justice
Children most likely to be abused are handicapped or retarded, small preemies, children with a "will of their own" (inquisitive, demanding) and unwanted children.
Prevent Child Abuse Texas
One of every seven victims of sexual assault reported to law enforcement agencies were under the age of six.
Child Help USA