Education and Indications of Child Abuse
Child abuse is a very serious problem, and it is important to teach children about abuse as early as elementary school. To teach elementary students about abuse make sure to use language that is clear and proper for the age of the students. Additionally, make sure to discuss the types of abuse that can occur and what needs to be done if child abuse is suspected.
- Use language and words that are easy for elementary kids to understand when talking about child abuse. This is important so that students understand completely what you are talking about. Also, language should be used that is appropriate for young children so that they do not become frightened or upset when child abuse is discussed.
- Explain to students exactly what abuse is and what the different types of abuse are. This should be the first thing that is discussed when teaching about abuse so that all students are on the same page during your discussion.
- Let students know what they should do if they are victims of abuse, or if they see another child being abused. Teach students that they should speak with a trusted adult about abuse incidents right away so that the behavior stops. Also, let students know that they can contact 911 or the police if they are being abused to get help.
- Administer a question and answer session after you have discussed child abuse with students. This will allow students to ask questions about abuse as well as provide them with the opportunity to get clarification on areas of child abuse that they do not understand.
- Ask a police officer or social worker to come into your classroom to discuss abuse with the students. These individuals will have good knowledge about child abuse and will be able to discuss child abuse effectively with students. Also, bringing professionals into the classroom will capture students' attention and persuade them to listen to the information being provided.
Indications of Abuse
Child abuse can occur in several forms, such as physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or neglect. There are some common or distinguishable signs to look for which can indicate that abuse might be a part of a child's life.
- Search for tangible signs of physical abuse such as frequent contusions, cuts, burns or broken bones.
- Weigh the possibilities of maltreatment if the student experiences trouble walking, sitting or executing other day-to-day tasks attributable to discomfort or pain.
- Notice if the student has experienced weight loss. It is a result if the youngster is not consuming adequate food, either by parental neglect or depression, resulting from emotional trauma. An overweight child may be overindulging because they believe they are worthless due to emotional or sexual abuse.
- Look for developmental stalls, particularly in babies, specifically not having age-appropriate communication or social skills.
- Study a child's personality: being suspicious of people, extravagant attempts to please others, shyness or introversion, fighting or not playing well with others may all be signals of abuse.
- Ascertain a child's sleeping habits: A child who's frequently tired or who often has nightmares can perhaps be a victim. Children have problems sleeping if they are being hurt or terrorized by a parent or family member.
- Watch for signs of drug or alcohol abuse in the student and his or her parents.
- Supervise functioning at school. Dropping grades or underachievement, suicide attempts or self-mutilation, are some indicators that the student is a victim of abuse.
All children should feel happy and safe and you as an adult should try your best to ensure that this happens. If you have any suspicions that a child is being abused it should be reported to the proper authorities immediately.