Learn the signs of child abuse and neglect.
It can be difficult to know when a child is being abused; their reactions can vary by personality, culture or age. Common clues to watch for include:
Multiple or unusual injuries. Visible signs may include burns, cuts or bruises. You may also hear inconsistent or overly rehearsed explanations of injuries.
Changes in mood and behavior. Abused children can appear more aggressive, scared, anxious, depressed or withdrawn. They may be anxious about leaving school or going places with the abuser.
Changes in eating or sleeping. Stress, fear and anxiety caused by abuse can lead to weight gain or loss, frequent nightmares, difficulty sleeping or extreme fatigue.
How To Prevent Child Abuse In Public
The goal is to provide simple, usable tools and strategies that allow individuals, businesses, and communities to create welcoming, respectful environments for children, young people, adults, and families. If you are witnessing adults and children struggling in public: avoid judging, assess the situation, and assess yourself. If you are ready, then . . .
- Offer assurance through a smile or a positive comment.
- Show empathy - imagine yourself in the other person's shoes.
- Offer encouragement - say something positive that you see about the child or adult.
- Distract and redirect their attention away from the stressful situation.
Judgment: We make judgments every day to help us make decisions. When we see a person who is struggling and we make assumptions and judgments about who they are and why they are behaving as they are, it is difficult, if not impossible, to see ways to be helpful; it is difficult to see them as fellow, worthy human beings. It's important to move those judgments out of the way in order to help out in situations.