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Child abuse is horrendous. Come to think of it, would you imagine your child getting abused at the hands of an adult? Surely, you can’t even think of it.
Sadly, child abuse has been in our society for a long time now. Children, who are least powerful and most vulnerable, are unable to protect themselves from a powerful adult. As a result, they get abuse at the hands of them. Research studies prove that they get abused mostly at the hands of an adult well known to the child. The abuser could be either a family member or a family friend, who takes advantage of his/her relationship with the child and then starts abusing.
Most children do not speak up or become confused when they are abused by someone they know because for them the abuser is supposed to be a caretaker, a protector and someone who is worthy of trust. Since children are taught to obey the adults, therefore they become confused when an adult abuses them. On the other hands, child abusers know how to manipulate the children and to gain their trust.
In such cases, children should be taught the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching so they know when someone is trying to abuse them. Parents should take the responsibility of preventing child abuse and thus protecting their children from the abusers. Here are the five steps in which they can prevent child abuse.
The first step towards preventing your kid from getting abused at the hands of adults is to learn about the facts related to child abuse and also understand the possible risks associated with it. Thea ratio of children reporting the abuse themselves in very low. Those who do not report are most likely to suffer emotional, psychological, social, and/or physical problems that will stay with them until they reach adulthood. Most of the abused children are under eight years old. Since younger kids are more vulnerable, the abusers can easily manipulate them and abuse them. On the other hands, it is a known fact that abusers are not strangers but someone we know. They can be either our friends or family members. You need to learn all of these facts and realities before attempting to prevent child abuse.
It is critical to understand that you do not have to leave your child alone with an adult under any situation. Whether the adult is someone you know and deeply trust, you should leave them alone with your child. Once you eliminate or minimize the chances of letting your child alone with the adult, you will lower the risk of sexual abuse for your child. Even if, under any given situation, your child is left along with the adult, you need to check on them. Drop in unexpectedly when your child is spending alone time with an adult. Apart from preventing your child from the physical abuse, you also need to check your child’s online activity. Make sure to check your child’s internet history to see if he/she is not interacting with any pedophile.
More often than not, children, especially younger ones, tend to hide the fact that they are being abused. Mostly they are abused by adults they know and trust, therefore they become confused when those adults abuse them. This confusion leads to their silence. They do not share the incidents with their parents as they are stuck in a cloud of confusion. In such cases, parents should encourage their children to speak up. While children may want to keep a secret, if they are taken in confidence by their parents, they can learn to speak about the incidents. Talk to your children openly about child abuse so that the barriers can be broken down.
When children are abused, especially physically abused, parents can easily spot the signs. Get your child physically examined as soon as you suspect sexual abuse. However, there might be signs that are not obvious and need to be spotted. Parents need to stay alert in such cases. Children falling into the abyss of depression, staying quiet most of the times, becoming angry or rebellious are emotional and behavioral signs which are often ignored by the parents. If you observe your child going through such traumatic experiences, then you better ask them.
If you have suspicions about your child getting abused, you need to take an action immediately. It is better to act on suspicions than showing ignorance because your child’s well-being may depend on it. If you come across a situation where you suspect a possible child abuse but you’re not sure about it or do not have any proof, then you should not show reluctance. Trust your gut feelings and act upon them. It is better to react than take no action at all.