Child abuse and its signs by Surbhi Agarwal

Child abuse is a crime in which the bully/offender harms a child by physical, psychological or sexual means. It doesn’t only affects the child at that moment but it also has lasting effects for years. The abuser can be a stranger or someone who is very close. The abuser doesn’t need to have physical contact with the child necessarily but can harm the child psychologically as well, through many sources. One such way is abuse through virtual means. It includes indecent messages, phone calls, images and videos. Children often get exposed to such content, often sent from strangers when they use social media sites in order to make new friends.

Abusers can manipulate the victim by telling the child that the activity is normal and they enjoyed it. If the child refuses to participate or plants to tell about the act to another adult, the abuser often makes threats, this makes the child lose trust on the person completely.

But how to check if a child is abused if he is not acting normal around someone or generally and how to protect a child from child abuse?

To know this, one needs to be aware about what child abuse exactly is and making your child aware of it as well. There are many sources from which parents can learn more about the child abuse and can explain it to their child in their own way. Though children of lower age group cannot be explained about sexual abuse, but parents and teachers should maintain dialogue with the child so that they can tell you about such happenings without any hesitation. Parents should start the same as soon as possible.

How to detect child abuse?

Spotting child abuse isn’t easy at all. One can mistaken friendly behaviour as child abuse, or vice versa. There is a thin line between these two.

One should consider these warning signs-

Child is developing phobias- The phobias develop due to the trauma that child suffered from and starts fearing from similar signs such as playing with adults.

Has trouble in school, such as absences or drops in grades- This can occur because of the distraction and lack of concentration due to repeating thoughts of the incident.

Nightmares- The bad experience is already present in the sub-conscious mind of the child and even if the child doesn’t think of the same during the day time but it can effect the child during his/her dreams which can change it into nightmares.

Other behaviours include returns to regressive behaviour, such as thumb sucking, self harms, etc.

If child abuse is confirmed, where can I get help/assistance from?

One can call 1098, this is a toll-free number available 24×7 to give help to the victim.

The aim of this article was to increase awareness, many articles and videos are present on internet, you can watch them as well to increase the understanding about the same. Even if you are not a parent/sibling/closely related to a child you can use your knowledge for the betterment of any child whom you find in such state and can help to alleviate the pain of a bud.

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