Subtle Signs of Child Maltreatment


Children are innocent and dependent on adults. At times, it is their innocence and dependence that make them vulnerable to abuse. The abuser can be a parent, a caregiver, a relative, someone close to the family, or a total stranger. If the abuse is not recognized, the child feels helpless and hopeless.     As parents and responsible adults, it is important that we monitor our children’s behavior. Observe how they act and react to different situations. To reduce the risk of child abuse, it helps to educate ourselves about the signs.

1.  Isolates himself

A child who has experienced abuse is confused. Although he cannot understand and explain what happened, he feels guilt, shame, and fear. Because of that, he tends to draw from people – family, friends, and other children. He refuses to speak to anyone or avoids playing or interacting with kids his age. He has low self-esteem. As a parent, talk to your child and assure him that with you around, he is safe and secure.

2. Overly sensitive

If a child suddenly screams or cries and acts violently for no reason at all, he could be emotionally disturbed. If he gets angry easily or becomes too sensitive, he could be keeping something to himself. He is frustrated and confused. The only way to cope with it is to release his emotions by screaming, crying, and yelling. Instead of yelling back, try to calm down the child until his emotions subside.

3. Complaints of feeling ill

Headaches, stomachaches, and other body pains are often times manifestations of abuse. The experience is still in the child’s mind and it’s haunting him. Consequently, he can’t eat nor sleep at night, which leads to his complaints of aches, pains, fatigue, and not feeling well. He may experience nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms. He needs help to cope and overcome the fear and finally move on from a bad experience.

4. Avoids a specific person or situation

Sad child on swing playground

An abused child suddenly avoids a certain person or a place that he used to go. He always has an excuse not to see that person and avoids having physical contact with him. If he does, he becomes shaky and starts to cry. The child feels the same to a particular place that he used to visit. Avoiding the abuser and the place where the abuse took place is the child’s defense to protect himself.

5. Alarming behavior

A case of child abuse is alarming because the experience will surely have a negative effect on the growth and development of the child. A thorough investigation should take place to know the extent of the abuse. The child needs assistance from a professional. If you’re looking for an experienced child abuse lawyer, there are various law firms in Glen Burnie that you can go to.

Any form of abuse or maltreatment is horrible, more so if it happens to a child. As responsible individuals, it is our duty to learn how to recognize, prevent, and report child abuse. Doing so will help reduce the risk of its occurrence.

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