Child abuse is misbehavior with a child, either mentally or physically. It includes any kind of violence against a child and maltreatment. The abused child tends to show symptoms in relation to improper behavior. Child abuse is sometimes an amalgamation of sexual abuse and physical abuse or of them. Such behavior should be duly addressed at an early stage otherwise the child will carry this mental stigma throughout their entire life. Parents should avoid negligence in these circumstances.
Types of Child Abuse
The legal definition of abuse can be traced to the legal system of the country as sexual harassment, a crime laid down in the criminal statutes. The major role played by sexual abuse lawyers is helping an abused child get fast and efficient justice.
Child abuse victims can be categorized into different groups such as the following:
1. Physical Abuse:
It occurs when a child is faced with any kind of physical violence. It includes hitting, slapping, kicking, and other violent acts. It leads to physical injury and damage to the child. On multiple occasions, it’s severe which can cause death or have life-threatening consequences. A child being of tender age can undergo greater negative effects on their body which might cause physical impairment.
Physical abuse includes the use of force. According to recent studies, 1 in every 20 children is a victim of physical abuse. This shows the number of children suffering on a massive scale. Looking at the rapid increase in crime rate, we can expect an increase in this ratio in the coming years ahead. This will make the situation more grave.
2. Sexual Abuse:
It is very sensitive to children since most of the time, the abuser is someone they already know. A sexual abuse lawyer can help in dealing with such sensitive issues. After facing sexual abuse, a child becomes numb after a while and he/she is not able to show resistance towards the same person who caused the sexual abuse.
There is a sense of fear which settles in their minds leading to a long-lasting impact on their behavior and thinking patterns. Sexual abuse victims at such a crucial stage cannot recognize sexual abuse and such abuse makes them secluded from social activities. It is important to make a child feel comfortable in order for them to share what exactly he/she is facing, mentally and internally.
3. Child neglect:
A child is neglected when he/she is not provided with adequate food, clothing, and proper facilities that are essential for day-to-day living. Additionally, if a child is denied love, affection, care, and attention as a child, which are all-important for their emotional growth, then this child falls under the circumference of child neglect. This greatly impacts their psychological behavior.
Signs and Symptoms
Knowing how to respond to sexual abuse is a big task. It is tough to recognize children who are being abused physically or sexually by someone. Handling these situations is the task of a sexual abuse lawyer. Many abuse laws are in place that helps get the culprit imprisoned and punished for their criminal acts. It is important for the victims to be open to sharing and disclosing their emotions so that the lawyers can assure them of their support in any possible manner. These children are constantly in fear that revealing what is happening to them will lead to more mishaps.
They become prone to seclusion from society and consider themselves wrongdoers. The abused child is afraid to interact with their parents as well. Thus, parents and close relatives need to ensure that they understand the signs and symptoms of an abused child so they can help the child out of this vicious circle. A sexual abuse lawyer can provide counseling in such cases to help in understanding the critical stages of an abused child. Such signs can be differentiated into physical changes, behavioral changes, and psychological changes.
1. Signs of physical abuse
- Unable to gain weight
- Injuries on the ear, mouth, hands, or toes
- Genital pain, bleeding, or discharge
- A sexually transmitted disease
- Fractured knees or elbows
- Swelling on the face or hands
2. Behavioral and Psychological changes
- Unable to talk
- Reluctance to respond
- Refraining from social activities
- Less interaction with friends and family
- Headaches and stomach aches with no medical cause
- Aggressive behavior
- Violent behavior
- More appetite and binge eating
- A decline in self-confidence
Long term factors
If not appropriately treated victims of child abuse face a lot of long-term consequences. Their mental, physical and psychological health is diminished. They start having low attention spans which can lead to dropping out of school and resentment towards all kinds of social activities. It is vital to take any kind of abuse seriously and pay attention to the same by taking strict action. Children become conscious of all the emotions they face during their childhood at a tender age. Keeping such factors in mind, it is important to keep them away from any actions that will have a long-lasting impact on their minds.
A lot of children, if not catered to properly, become stagnant in their growth. Getting help in such situations is the best solution. Psychologists and sexual abuse lawyers are the major support pillars needed to bring a child back from this depressing phase. They can calm the child by giving them assurance of relief and healing and that all will get back to normal. Since parents are first guardians, they should seek help from all possible individuals.
Lawyers for sexual abuse can help in understanding the legal consequences of such child abuse. They help in putting the offender behind bars. This will help prevent children from living with the constant fear of getting abused again in the future. It also helps in building their self-confidence to live life fearlessly. It is pertinent to note that seeking legal help is important in order to make the culprit pay for their crimes. Child abuse is a heinous offense and such an act should never be overlooked by parents or relatives. Getting speedy justice is a legal right of every abused child in this country.