Children who are being abused or neglected will show signs or symptoms of changed behavior whether they know it or not. Most victims of abuse will be afraid to talk about it or report it. This can be because the offender has threatened them or their families or because they want to protect the offender. Most child abusers know their victims and can have a strong hold over them.
If you notice any changes in behavior and notice any of these symptoms, it may indicate child abuse.
Slow development or regression. Children who are victims of abuse sometimes develop slower than other children their age. They may only start talking later than they should, show immature behavior, refusal to socialize, etc. Some children may show signs of regression which means they start doing poorly in school or lose skills they already learned.
Unusual parent-child interaction or relationship. A relationship where the parent hardly pays attention to a child may be a danger sign. If a child is constantly afraid of their parent or the parent shows inappropriate behavior towards the child it can also be a danger sign.
Mental health problems. Victims of abuse are prone to low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and suicidal thoughts.
Children acting out. Children who behave inappropriately or are disruptive may be acting out as a response to abuse. There may be other reasons, but this is usually one of the more prominent signs of some sort of abuse or neglect.
Injuries that are hard to explain. Children who constantly have injuries that they cannot explain can be a sign of abuse. If the explanation keeps changing and is hard to believe, you might want to investigate a bit more.
Signs of sexual abuse. Signs that may indicate sexual abuse include unwillingness to go to the bathroom, discomfort or pain when sitting or urinating, discharges, bleeding through the pants or dress. Other signs can include knowing more than they should for their age, suicide attempts, and risky behavior.
Any sudden change in a child’s behavior could mean that they are being abused in some way. If you notice any of these signs, report it to the right people so an investigation can be done to determine if the child is in danger. 8 Ways you can stop it.