Violence Intervention Project

About Child Abuse

Signs of Abuse
  • WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT?
  • Child abuse and neglect is a widespread problem in American society. A child of any age, sex, race, religion, and socioeconomic background can fall victim to child abuse and neglect.
  • Child abuse and neglect is defined as the physical or mental injury, sexual abuse of exploitation, negligent treatment, or maltreatment: of a child under the age of 18 by a person who is responsible for the child's welfare
  • Under circumstances which indicate that the child's health or welfare is harmed or threatened
Physical Signs of Abuse
    • bruises, welts, or broken bones
    • cuts or scrapes
    • burns
    • missing hair
    • injuries or redness around the genitals
    • injuries at different stages of healing
    • injury or medical conditions that have not been treated
  • BEHAVIORAL CHANGES:
    • aggressive or withdrawn
    • unusual fears, not going home, or fear of people
    • craving for attention
    • fatigue
    • lack of concentration
    • frequent tardiness or absence from school
  • SIGNS OF ADULTS WHO ABUSE MAY:
    • harshly punish the child in public
    • refer to the child as a bad child
    • give conflicting stories about injuries
    • become defensive when asked about the child
Comparison/Nurture Wheel
  • ABUSE OF CHILDREN

    VIOLENCE – pinching – hitting – kicking – pushing – twisting arms – choking
    INTIMIDATION
    - Instilling fear through looks, actions, gestures, property destruction
    - Using adult size
    - Yelling
    - Being violent to other parent, pets, etc.
    USING INSTITUTIONS
    - Threatening punishment with/by God, courts, police, school, juvenile detention, foster homes, relatives, psych wards
    USING ADULT PRIVILEGE
    - Treating children as servants
    - Punishing, bossing, always winning
    - Denying input in visitation and custody decisions
    - Interrupting
    ISOLATION
    - Controlling access to peers/adults, siblings, other parent, grandparents
    THREATS
    - Threatening abandonment, suicide, physical harm, confinement, or harm to other loved ones
    EMOTIONAL ABUSE
    - Put downs, name calling
    - Using children as confidants
    - Using children to get or give information to other parent
    - Being inconsistent
    - Shaming children
    ECONOMIC ABUSE
    - Withholding basic needs, using money to control behavior
    - Squandering family money
    - Withholding child support
    - Using children as an economic bargaining chip in divorce


    VIOLENCE – committing incest – sexual touching/kissing – sexualizing children’s behavior

    NURTURING CHILDREN

    Love and care for your children
    TRUST AND RESPECT
    - Acknowledge children’s right to have own feelings, friends, activities and opinions
    - Promote independence
    - Allow for privacy
    - Respect feelings for other parent
    - Believe your children
    PROVIDE EMOTIONAL SECURITY
    - Talk and act so that children feel safe and comfortable expressing themselves
    - Be gentle
    - Be dependable
    CARE FOR YOURSELF
    - Give yourself personal time
    - Keep yourself healthy
    - Maintain friendships
    - Accept love
    PROVIDE PHYSICAL SECURITY
    - Provide food, shelter, clothing
    - Teach personal hygiene and nutrition
    - Monitor safety
    - Maintain a family routing
    - Attend to wounds
    GIVE AFFECTION
    - Express verbal and physical affection
    - Be affectionate when your children are physically or emotionally hurt
    PROVIDE DISCIPLINE
    - Be consistent
    - Ensure rules are appropriate to age and development of child
    - Be clear about limits and expectations
    - Use discipline to give instruction, not punish
    ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT
    - Be affirming
    - Encourage children to follow their interests
    - Let children disagree with you
    - Recognize improvement
    - Teach new skills
    - Let them make mistakes
    GIVE TIME
    - Participate in your children’s lives: activities, school, sports, special events and days, celebrations, friends
    - Include your children in your activities
    - Reveal who you are to your children
    Love and care for your children