Friday, June 8, 2012

How to tell a child is being abused ?An article regarding child abuse.

Child abuse encompasses all acts of commission & omission,which may harm a child.It can be classified under four heads viz-physical,emotional,sexual & plain neglect.Abuse can take any fiendish form because the child being young,vulnerable &easily accessible to the tormentor;is totally in his/her clutches.What such a pervert cannot do with grown-ups,s/he does with the child.S/he will first ingratiate himself/herself with the victim's care-givers;or s/he  might himself/herself be one of the care-giver; & then threaten the child into submission & silence.The effects of abuse spell disaster for the child.They are wide-spread & intangible;which is why it is not easy to enumerate them all.But abuse has chaotic repercussions on the child's body,mind & soul.It mars it's psyche irrevocably.Even one episode can have that effect on the child,& when such torment is continued over a long period of time it does untold damage & messes up his/her whole life.In order to safe-guard our children we must be able to recognise the changes which might indicate that the child is suffering exploitation.

A child's behavior will give the most conspicuous clues to a close observer, that it is being abused.There will be sudden changes in the way it has been hitherto behaving.The child may become taciturn & withdrawn.Or it may become fearful,easily startled & apprehensive.Sometimes the child is so scared that it will cling to a protective parent to such an extent that it looks unnatural.Another child could react by becoming aggressive,violent & anti-social,while a child who was till now timid & gentle ,may become hyper-reactive i.e easily provoked & angered.If you watch carefully you may find that the child avoids all objects & circumstances related to the abuse.


Academic down-slide or refusal to go to school could also be an indication that something is wrong.

Coming to the physical symptoms of child abuse-there would obviously be frequent cuts,bruises,fractures or burn marks if the kid is suffering physical abuse.If you want to read the searing account of how a child was tortured by her father please click here.Neglect would additionally show up in malnourished & unkempt state of a child.Emotional or sexual abuse could surface in the form of unexplained aches & pains.Or it may be manifested in tics,thumb sucking or bed-wetting.The child may have eating disorders or other somatic complaints which do not relate to any illness.An older child could even seek refuge in substance abuse.Running away from home could be another outcome of abuse.


Psychological repercussions of abuse are by far ,the most cruel;while the symptoms thereof,are impalpable.Through no fault of it's own,the poor child suffers guilt,shame,self-blame,remorse & feelings of worthlessness.It's self-confidence & self esteem are foremost casualties.Insomnia & nightmares often follow.The child may suffer from depression & anxiety.It could take recourse to self-harm .It's anger & frustration may result in reckless behavior leading to self destruction.One child may cling to a person whom it trusts,while another may  be numb in familial & social interactions.In the long run abuse victims have difficulty in forming & sustaining relationships.


It is vital to mention here,that these symptoms could arise from causes other than child abuse.Secondly an abuse victim may show only a couple of symptoms,or even none at all.Therefore care-givers should not jump to conclusions & panic without verification .It is best to caution the child against such probability & talk freely to it regarding the various pit-falls that it might encounter; & also what to do in that circumstance--but all this without panicking the child.This is one issue where precaution is far,far preferable to cure.
This post owes a vote of thanks to Bhavna who motivated me to write it .

42 comments :

  1. Informative and obviously useful! I've already made some of my friends read your posts without your asking for it:)and the pleasure was all mine:) Thank you Indu!

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    1. Thanks Amit jee,your replies are always very encouraging.

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    2. I forgot,you don't need to ask me for forwarding my posts-in fact i am grateful that you did so.Thanks once again.

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  2. very Informative ...
    Bhavna and You are really a TOUGH packs in blogopshere :)
    cheers

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    1. D thank you,i am glad you liked it .

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    2. Thanks, D!!! You are very encouraging!

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  3. I liked the way you explained the topic. It hits the child on all levels and we have to take every necessary action to prevent it. As everyone said very informative.

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    1. Thank you Saru,it is an abominable act-this child abuse-i don't know how a human being could do it to a child.

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  4. Thank you for this post, Induji. Not only for the useful information but because it shows that you care. :)

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    1. Akshay thanks for your lovely comment,i hope posts such as this one do make a difference.

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  5. Indu, being a parent I can so completely relate to this..A society that can't protect & nurture their young..? How heinous can it be. Good post!

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  6. Maitreyee welcome to jeeteraho,yes you are right,every parent is always worried about the safety of his child-but these demons-they do exist.

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  7. thanks for the post Indu. Being a mother I know I have to be on guard always and a post like this is a big help.

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    1. Hi TTT, a very warm welcome to you at jeeteraho,i am glad you liked this post.

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  8. Very useful tips on highly relevant topic.

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    1. TF,nice to see you here,thanks for your encouraging comment.

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  9. Recent open, honest discussions in media has shown that this problem of child abuse is not confined to any region/class etc..so its very important for each and every parent/ guardian to keep these points in mind...appreciate your insights Indu.

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    1. Thanks Nitin for stopping by & commenting.

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  10. Indu....Hope this post is showcased and read by all the parents worldwide..Thanks for this post!

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    1. panchali thanks for your lovely comment-it is very rewarding.

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  11. Abuse need not be only from others. Sometimes even parents are guilty of abuse -- emotional, physical and psychological. Which is why some children turn out to exhibit all the symptoms you have detailed here.

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    1. zephyr thanks for your perceptive comment,indeed sometimes the care giver IS the parent & the abuser--even in cases of sexual abuse;& when it is the parent,the child has even lesser chances of escape or reprieve.

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  12. Those words put it so succinctly! thanks for the exquisite notes.

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  13. umashankar jee,it is an honor to have you praise my writing.

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  14. indu i know i have said it before but i wanna say it again u r doing a great job spreading awareness over various aspects of life and various problems and issues via this blog...kudos to u

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  15. Thank you sweetheart-your support keeps me going.

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  16. We need more of these kind of posts, Induji. Awareness in India is still so low and yet abuse is widespread. Do we need to wait for a child to grow up and then reveal? I am so glad you have written about is succinctly, clearly, and in a way that can truly help parents. Is there anything in the Indian context that you perhaps want to add?
    I will send this post to friends who are parents. I wish this could be posted in other places too. Did you write to Prayas and TheFoundation. I will see if I can tweet it to them.

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  17. Thank you Bhavna for once again taking this one step forward...no i have not contacted these NGOs ,please do it for me...i will think about the Indian context & add ...as it is ,i have to add a true account given by a sufferer.I appreciate your efforts.

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  18. Induji I sent it through to The Foundation and Rahul Bose and also to SMJ. I hope somebody reads them and uses them. Also sent it to a group of parents. More folks need to read n bookmark.

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  19. Generally I do not read post on blogs, however I would like
    to say that this write-up very compelled me to take a look
    at and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me.
    Thanks, quite great post.
    Feel free to visit my blog post buy twitter followers

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  20. Anonymous you are welcome to jeeteraho,thanks for this nice comment.

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  21. This has been quite informative !
    Nicely put in words dear!!!

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  22. It is really sad. We must always be on the lookout if something like this is happening or not. Thanks for this article.

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    1. Shalu welcome here,yes one should always be cautious because child abuse is a horrible experience.

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  23. I agree, we cannot be cautious enough. We should be on the lookout for such cases. Thank you for this article.

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  24. Excellent post! Thanks for posting, will share with my friends who have kids

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  25. HI Ash,thanks for joining the gang & also for your wonderful cooperation.

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  26. I am so glad more people are speaking out against child abuse than ever before. Acknowledging that there might be a problem makes us more alert, makes kids more alert and helps us think about solutions. The caution at the end is noteworthy too. It is a fine balance and normal, affectionate people shouldn't end up feeling like abusers. Great post, Indu.

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  27. Thanks Kay Em for visiting & commenting.....i endorse all that you have so rightly stressed....the caution was also directed at nervous parents lest they become paranoid at seeing some of those symptoms in their child.

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Thanks for reading my post.I hope you liked it :).