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If you believe that you are being abused, talk to someone you trust such as adult family members, a pastor, a teacher, or a school counselor. If one of these people is the source of abuse, talk to another adult you can trust. This is something that must be reported. If you are being abused, you DO NOT deserve what is being done to you. Below are some possible signs of abuse.*

*Note: There is a difference between discipline and abuseDiscipline is not enacted with malicious intent, but out of love. Victims of child abuse are frightened into obeying a parent or a guardian and acknowledging their control. On the other hand, discipline seeks to teach a child what is right from what is wrong so that they may eventually be independent of their parents. - See more at: http://children-laws.laws.com/child-abuse/types-of-abuse#sthash.qn6mo2hS.dpuf

Physical Abuse

Signs that someone you know might be experiencing physical abuse:

  • Bruises (old and new, clustered on one part of body, or on both upper arms)
  • Burns
  • Cuts or scars
  • Marks left by a gag (or some form of restraint)
  • Imprint injuries (eg., marks shaped like fingers, thumbs, hands, belts or sticks)
  • Missing teeth
  • Spotty balding (from pulled hair)
  • Eye injuries (black eyes or detached retinas)
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains
  • Abrasions or scrapes
  • Vaginal or rectal pain
  • Bleeding from the ears, nose or mouth
  • Frequent urinary tract infections or yeast infections
  • Painful urination
  • Abrasions, bleeding, or bruising in the genital area
  • Incontinence in someone who was previously toilet-trained
  • Frequent sore throats
  • Sudden onset of psychosomatic complaints (males most frequently complain of stomach aches while females most frequently report headaches)
  • Sudden difficulty walking or sitting
  • CHANGES in the way affection is shown, especially if unusual or inappropriate
  • Suddenly fears being touched
  • Sudden onset of nightmares
  • CHANGES in sleep patterns; difficulty sleeping
  • Sudden regression to childlike behaviors (i.e., bed-wetting, thumb-sucking)
  • Sudden unusual interest in or knowledge of sexual matters (including excessive masturbation)
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Sudden fear of bathing or toileting
  • Sudden fear of a person or place
  • Depression, withdrawal, or mood swings
  • ANY UNEXPLAINED CHANGE IN BEHAVIOR

         *Taken from http://apd.myflorida.com/zero-tolerance/common-signs/#one*

 

 

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can sometimes be difficult to recognize. Emotional abuse is any kind of psychological abuse that traumatizes a person’s mind or their state of being, forcing them to feel weak, traumatized and helpless. (http://www.lovepanky.com/my-life/better-life/signs-of-emotional-abuse)

Signs that you might be experiencing emotional abuse:

  • You're scared.
  • Incessant lectures
  • Painful comparisons
  • Constant confusions
  • You get blamed for no fault
  • Possessive jealousy (in the abuser)
  • Your self-esteem is crippled
  • Two faced personality (in the abuser)
  • Sadism (in the abuser)
  • You are humiliated
  • Unreasonable expectations for you
  • Sexual manipulation
  • Turning everyone against you
  • The silent treatment
  • Physically abusive
  • You're not allowed to think for yourself
  • Isolating you from others
  • Recalling emotional memories
  • Your achievements are said to not matter
  • Denial of abusive behavior 

       *Taken from http://www.lovepanky.com/my-life/better-life/signs-of-emotional-abuse

Signs that someone you know might be experiencing emotional abuse:

  • low self-confidence/poor self-image
  • unable to feel trust/fearful
  • dependent/withdrawn
  • anxious/depressed
  • over-compliant/hyper-vigilant
  • detached
  • has difficulty forming relationships
  • little enthusiasm
  • low perseverance
  • social, emotional and/or academic delays
  • unusual fears
  • lack of empathy
  • failure to thrive 
  • feelings of shame and guilt
  • rocking, sucking on clothes, hands, hair, biting self or others
  • crying
  • avoids eye contact
  • overly aggressive, destructive or cruel to others
  • suffers from sleep, speech disorders
  • restricts play activities or experiences
  • demonstrates compulsions, obsessions, phobias, hysterical outbursts
  • alcohol or drug abuse
  • negative statements about self
  • shy, passive or compliant
  • physical, mental and emotional developmental delays
  • self-destructive behavior
  • overly demanding
  • bed-wetting

Due to factors such as societal differences and cultural practices in the way that we raise boys and girls, many times the warning signs of emotional abuse will be gender specific.

Boys may tend toward more:

  • aggression
  • temper tantrums
  • fighting with peers/siblings
  • bullying 
  • disobedience/defiance
  • frustration
  • lying/cheating
  • destructive 
  • impulsive/lacks self-control 
  • argumentative
  • teases others excessively
  • worries excessively
  • withdrawn

Girls may tend toward more:

  • withdrawn
  • passive
  • approval-seeking
  • compliant
  • easily frustrated
  • infinitely patient
  • clingy with adults
  • low self-confidence
  • overly dependent
  • stubborn
  • teases others excessively
  • worries excessively
  • somatic complaints (body aches, illness)

      *Taken from http://www.teach-through-love.com/emotional-abuse-signs.html#sthash.gAWbzmP8.dpuf*

  

Sexual Abuse

Signs that someone you know might be experiencing sexual abuse:

Behavior you may see in a child or adolescent:

  • Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
  • Seems distracted or distant at odd times
  • Has a sudden change in eating habits
  • Refuses to eat
  • Loses or drastically increases appetite
  • Has trouble swallowing
  • Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity, or withdrawal
  • Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
  • Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
  • Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
  • Writes, draws, plays, or dreams of sexual or frightening images
  • Talks about a new older friend
  • Suddenly has money, toys, or other gifts without reason
  • Thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty, or bad
  • Exhibits adult-like sexual behaviors, language, and knowledge

Behavior more typically found in adolescents (teens):

  • Self-injury (cutting, burning)
  • Inadequate personal hygiene
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Running away from home
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Suicide attempts
  • Fear of intimacy or closeness
  • Compulsive eating or dieting

  Signs of sexual abuse in adults:

  • Fear responses to reminders of the assault
  • Pervading sense of anxiety, wondering whether it is possible to ever feel safe again
  • Re-experiencing assault over and over again through flashbacks
  • Problems concentrating and staying focused on the task at hand
  • Guilty feelings
  • Developing a negative self-image, feeling “dirty” inside or out
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Disruptions in close relationships
  • Loss of interest in sex

       *Taken from http://www.nsopw.gov/en-US/Education/RecognizingSexualAbuse?

 

 

 

What the Bible says...    Mark 9:36-37,  Psalm 34:18,  2 Peter 3:9,  Ephesians 4:31,  Psalm 18:48,  Psalm 9:9

 

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