Child Abuse Awareness
Don't let your students be victims of child abuse
- Approximately 5 children die every day because of child abuse.
- Abused and neglected children are 11 times more likely to engage in criminal behavior as an adult.
- 3.6 million cases of child abuse are reported every year in the U.S. And the number of children involved in these reports is 6 million.
- 14 percent of all men and 36 percent of all women in prison were abused as children.
Signs of child abuse(neglect)
- Clothes are ill-fitting, filthy, or inappropriate for the weather.
- Hygiene is consistently bad (unbathed, matted and unwashed hair, noticeable body odor).
- Untreated illnesses and physical injuries.
- Is frequently unsupervised or left alone or allowed to play in unsafe situations and environments.
- Is frequently late or missing from school.
Signs of child abuse (physical)
- Frequent injuries or unexplained bruises, welts, or cuts.
- Is always watchful and “on alert,” as if waiting for something bad to happen.
- Injuries appear to have a pattern such as marks from a hand or belt.
- Shies away from touch, flinches at sudden movements, or seems afraid to go home.
- Wears inappropriate clothing to cover up injuries, such as long-sleeved shirts on hot days.
Signs of child abuse (emotional)
- Excessively withdrawn, fearful, or anxious about doing something wrong.
- Shows extremes in behavior (extremely compliant or extremely demanding; extremely passive or extremely aggressive).
- Doesn’t seem to be attached to the parent or caregiver.
What if you suspect that one of your students are being abused
- Talk to them separately
- Help the child feel comfortable
- Reassure the child that it is not her fault
- Don’t react with shock, anger, disgust
- Don’t force a child to talk, Give the child time, Let her talk to you at her own pace
- Use terms and language that the child can understand
- Don’t force a child to show injuries
- Don’t ask ‘why’ questions like, “Why did he hit you?” or “Why she do that?” Be honest with the child.
- Let the child know what you are going to do. This will build trust. Be honest about what you can do for him. Don’t promise him things that cannot be done. For example- let him know that you may have to tell someone so that he will not be hurt anymore. Then he will not be surprised or afraid when he finds out that someone knows.
- Confirm the child’s feelings
- Be supportive