Intentionally physical, psychological and sexual acts are child abuse. Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to have physical contact for child abuse. Any behavior that would harm the child's mental, emotional or physical well-being is a crime and called child abuse.

    Abuser may be from the outside, or from within the family or from the family. As many as 93 percent of abused children under the age of 18 know the abuser.

    Abusers can manipulate children to stay quiet about the sexual abuse and also to coerce and intimidate the children using different tactics.

    It is not always easy to notice sexual abuse. It can be difficult if abuser is recognized or someone in the family. There are physical and behavioral signs to indicate that the child is being abused.


    Physical signs:

    ·         Bleeding, bruises, or swelling in genital area

    ·         Bloody, torn, or stained underclothes

    ·         Difficulty walking or sitting

    ·         Frequent urinary or yeast infections

    ·         Pain, itching, or burning in genital area



    Behavioral signs:

    ·         Change in hygiene (refusing to bathe or bathing excessively.

    ·         Develops phobias

    ·         Exhibits signs of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder

    ·         Suicidal thoughts (especially in adolescents)

    ·         Drops in grades

    ·         Inappropriate sexual knowledge or behaviors

    ·         Self-harms



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