Thursday, May 21, 2009

Child Abuse

I try not to syndicate on this blog, so perhaps I should come up with something original to say on the topic of child abuse, but what I really want to do is share this:

The 10 Common Signs of Child Abuse
  • Unexplained injuries. Visible signs of physical abuse may include unexplained burns or bruises.
  • Changes in behavior. Abused children often appear scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive.
  • Returning to earlier behaviors. Abused children may display behaviors shown at earlier ages, such as thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, fear of the dark or strangers.
  • Fear of going home. Abused children may express apprehension or anxiety about leaving school or about going places with the person who is abusing them.
  • Changes in eating. The stress, fear and anxiety caused by abuse can lead to changes in a child's eating behaviors, which may result in weight gain or weight loss.
  • Changes in sleeping. Abused children may have frequent nightmares or have difficulty falling asleep, and as a result may appear tired or fatigued.
  • Changes in school performance and attendance. Abused children may have difficulty concentrating in school or have excessive absences, sometimes due to adults trying to hide the children's injuries from authorities.
  • Lack of personal care or hygiene. Abused and neglected children may appear uncared for.
  • Risk-taking behaviors. Young people who are being abused may engage in high-risk activities such as using drugs or alcohol or carrying a weapon.
  • Inappropriate sexual behaviors. Children who have been sexually abused may exhibit overly sexualized behavior or use explicit sexual language.
Some signs that a child is experiencing violence or abuse are more obvious than others. Trust your instincts. Suspected abuse is enough of a reason to contact the authorities. You do not need proof.

This is taken from the Help End Child Abuse pledge at, which I signed. Part of the pledge was to share the signs, so here they are on this blog.

I challenge anybody and everybody reading this to sign and uphold this pledge.
(but don't worry - nothing bad will happen to you (dying, having the worst day of your life, your crush hating you) if you don't)