Recognizing child abuse is not easy. Children who are abused are often afraid to complain or disclose because they are fearful they will be blamed, no one will believe them, or the person who is abusing them is someone they love very much.
Be alert to any of the following signs and changes:
Physical abuse: Any injury, such as a bruise, burn, fracture, abdominal or head injury that cannot be explained.
Sexual abuse: Fearful behavior, such as nightmares, depression, unusual fears, attempts to run away, abdominal pain, bedwetting, urinary tract infection, genital pain or bleeding, sexually transmitted disease, and extreme sexual behaviors that seem inappropriate for the child's age.
Emotional abuse: Sudden change in self-confidence, such as headaches or stomachaches with no medical cause, abnormal fears, increased nightmares or attempts to run away.
Signs of emotional neglect: Failure to gain weight especially in infants, desperately affectionate behavior, voracious appetite and stealing food.
According to the 2015 Children’s Bureau, among 7.2 million children, 75.3 percent were neglected, 17.2 percent were physically abused, 8.4 percent were sexually abused and 6.9% percent were emotionally neglected.
If you suspect a child is being abused, please contact the Support, Advocacy & Resource Center at 509-374-5391 for assistance.
Alejandra Cardoso, Kennewick