Do you know anyone who has ever experienced child abuse in their life? Maybe you know some celebrities, friends, fictional characters, or family members that have been through child abuse. There is probably at least one person that you have heard of that experienced child abuse. Child abuse is when someone, usually someone older, physically, mentally, or sexually harms a child. This is a very serious situation and can become worse when not handled..
Abuse during someone’s childhood can cause many outcomes to a person in their future. Child abuse can cause depression to children of all ages, which may lead to something serious. An example of this would be suicide. Abuse can also cause trust issues to the child. This child may be afraid to open up, due to past experiences. There is plenty more to child abuse that adults may not be aware of.
Did you know, the referrals to child protective services involve 6.6 million children yearly? More specifically, in the state Ohio, an article shows, “Each year in Ohio, child protective service agencies across the state substantiate more than 30,000 cases of child abuse and neglect.”(Zeltner, 1). As many people probably already know, not many children report to an adult when they are experiencing child abuse. This behavior might be because they are afraid. The abuser might be threatening this child to make sure they don’t contact the police.
The abuser could more specifically be threatening the life of someone important to the child. An example of this is in the novel, Forged By Fire by Sharon Draper. Angel was being abused sexually by Jordan. Angel wasn’t telling people about Jordan abusing her because he would threaten her.
He was telling Angel that he would kill Tiger, her pet cat. Also, when Gerald found out, Angel told Gerald to not tell anyone. This can only be one of the many other reasons.
Another possible reason a child might not be reporting that they are being abused is because they might not even be aware that what this person is doing to them is child abuse. Another guardian might not believe that it is child abuse too. The child abuser could be manipulating the child and the other guardian into thinking that child abuse isn’t a bad thing. They could be telling them that what they are doing is teaching the child a lesson. Jordan would tell Monique, Gerald’s guardian, that whenever he hits Gerald, it’s teaching him a lesson.
It is sometimes hard to tell if a child is being abused due to the child’s fear of the abuser finding out. There are different ways to tell if a child has been mentally, physically, or sexually abused. Some signs to see if a child is being physically abused is if they have any type of injury. Injuries could be from bruises to burns to head or abdominal pain. If the child doesn’t have a reasonable explanation as to why they got that injury in the first place, it might mean they are being abused. Anyways, some symptoms to look out for if you suspect a child is being sexually abused is fearful behavior, sexually inappropriate behavior for the child’s age, and more.
For example, Angel had fearful behavior whenever she was near Jordan. As written in the text, fearful behavior to greater detail is, “Fearful behavior (nightmares, depression, unusual fears, attempts to run away.)” (Child Abuse, 1) Symptoms of mental abuse for a child could be lack of self-confidence, increase in nightmares, attempts of running away, and abnormal fears. Mental, physical, and sexual abuse are all equally awful and if you notice any of these symptoms happening to a child, then you should maybe report this to the police. If you have seen any of the symptoms previously stated, then you shouldn’t hesitate to contact the police. The longer you wait to report a child being abused, the worse the situation could become. For example, Gerald waited to tell someone that Angel was being abused and they found her with Jordan in her room. If he had told someone before, then Jordan wouldn’t have been in Angel’s room alone with her in the first place.
A child who has been abused in any way should get therapy to help deal with any symptoms that they may still be having. After being abused, the child probably has emotional damage that needs to be discussed with a therapist. It is believed that the more younger the child is and the more closer the child is the the abuser, the more serious the emotional damage may be.
For example, Angel had been scared whenever Jordan was around, and when he came back from jail, Angel would always throw up whenever he was around. The child, no matter the age, will still probably get emotional damage. So, you should report to the police if you suspect child abuse as quick as possible. All the time wasted without contacting the police the more emotionally damaged a child might become.
Anyways, an older child might be using drugs, attempting at running away, or drinking alcohol due to child abuse. Children who were abused also might have violent, suicidal, or withdrawn behavior. If you ever suspect anything about a child being abused, you should contact the cops immediatelyTo conclude, child abuse is a very serious matter and should be taken seriously. Referrals to child protective services have over 6 million children reported yearly. Imagine how many children that don’t report that they’re being child abused.
Many children are afraid to tell someone if they have been being abused by someone. You should also look for signs if a child has been being abused somehow. If you ever suspect a child being abused, look at the symptoms and see if they have any. Also, report the police officers if you suspect a child is being abused. One last thing to take seriously is how the child may act or become after being abused. They are emotionally damaged and should have a therapist help them out.
Forged By Fire shows a perfect example of child abuse. Remember, child abuse is happening to a bunch of people, so we all must try our best to save and heal the children that have been experiencing child abuse.