Emotional abuse, or psychological maltreatment, is a fairly common form of child abuse but one that is often difficult to identify or categorize. Although complex and difficult to define, experts agree that occasional negative actions or responses to a child are not considered emotional abuse (we all lose our heads at times and say things we regret later). Regardless, even occasional emotional abuse may be harmful to the child. As Douglas Besharov states in Recognizing Child Abuse, “emotional abuse is an assault on the child’s psyche, just as physical abuse is an assault on the child’s body.”
A child abuser can be a mother, father, a friendly neighbor, a friend of your parents, someone at your church, or even a teacher. You can’t really tell by looking at them if they are a child abuser or not. Child abusers can sometimes look just like normal people. But there are signs you can look for, ways the person acts around others and things like that, that might let you know the person could be a child abuser.
Sexual abuse of a kid happens more often than it should and it happens to a LOT of kids. Kids are usually afraid to talk about it or tell anyone. There are some signs you can look for though. If you see a person that shows only 1 or 2 of these signs then that may be OK but if they show a lot of these signs then something might be wrong and you should talk to them or tell someone else about it so they can help the kid out.
Can you tell if your child is a victim of sexual abuse? Does your child know how to distinguish between safe and unsafe touch? Schools in the city are trying hard to make sure that they do. An awareness campaign has been kicked off in many city pre-schools to educate parents and children on how to detect and deal with child sexual abuse.
The sexual abuse of a child is something that occurs across all ethnic and socio-economic boundaries. The abuse often goes undiscovered because the child is afraid to talk about it. There are signs you can look for though. The presence of a single sign does not prove child abuse is occurring in a family; however, when these signs appear repeatedly or in combination you should take a closer look at the situation and consider the possibility of child abuse.