Children have a more difficult type expressing abuse. In some cases, they are too young to explain it or are so used to it that it is a regular occurrence to them. In other cases, children are afraid to talk. Abusive adults will belittle them and make them feel that they have no where to turn to. If they do, there can be greater consequences.
First, it is important to note that there are different types of abuse. Physical abuse is the most predominant type of abuse, but it can be hard to detect if the child hides the evidence under clothing or bandages. If you ask about burns, scratches, or bruises, a child will typically act nervous and make up a lie, deeming the cause as an accident.
Neglect is another form of abuse. In such cases, you can visibly see that the child is not properly cared for, and perhaps has torn clothing or is unkempt. Neglect also involves constantly leaving a child home alone or failure to pick them up from places such as school.
Emotional abuse also involves neglect, but encompasses other signs. Emotionally abusive parents constantly talk down to their child, making them feel worthless and unloved. A lack of self-esteem is exhibited by children who are emotionally abused. Such children also act below their age.
Children also exhibit certain signs of sexual abuse. They may be afraid to go home or be around other adults. During gym or sports activities, they might not want to go to the locker room. Bedwetting is common in younger sexually abused children.
The last thing you want to do is wrongly accuse a parent of child abuse. In some cases, it is difficult to detect. When in doubt, seek the advice of a counselor or attempt to approach the child your self. If you ever suspect child abuse, do not hesitate to contact your local child welfare agency.