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Every day five children die because of abuse and neglect. A Lot of NGOs in India are working together to reduce this count to ZERO.

Here are 10 ways to prevent Child Abuse & Neglect:

1)      Be a nurturing parent. Being a nurturing parent involves meeting basic physical needs as well as consistently seeking to meet your children’s emotional needs. Each child is different, as is each parent, so a nurturing relationship can take many forms. Check out these great tips for being a nurturing parent.


2)      Help a friend, neighbor or relative. Everyone sometimes feels stressed, overworked and out of patience, but these kinds of emotions, if left unabated, can lead to regrettable parenting decisions. If you notice that a parent you know seems to be having a rough time, that’s a great cue that they may need a little break. Even small gestures can mean a lot and relieve a stressful parent.Remember, just because a parent is stressed, doesn’t mean that they are abusing or neglecting their children. But a little help from a trusted friend may do a lot to help them be the parent they want to be.


3)      Help yourself and de-stress when necessary. If you find yourself being the one who is stressed out, then maybe it’s time to let a trusted friend or family member in to help on occasion. Sometimes a few good nights’ sleep away for the weekend is all it takes.


4)      When your baby cries, be patient. When a baby won’t stop crying, it can be frustrating, heartbreaking and even defeating. If you have a baby who is prone to long bouts of crying, take a look at these tips for calming an infant. Never shake a baby. Shaking a baby can result in severe injury and even death.

5)      Get involved. Tell other people about child abuse resources in your community and services of the leading NGOs.  Share resources like this blog and don’t shy away from speaking out against child abuse and neglect.

6)      Help develop parenting resources. Are you a parent who feels like they have wisdom and experiences to share? Contact your local library and offer to help them develop parenting resources.

7)      Monitor your child’s media intake. This includes things like television, YouTube videos, movies, social media activity, and even texting. Watching violent films and television shows can be harmful to a young child’s development and can be desensitizing to older children and teens.

8)      Promote programs in school. Help the schools in your community be the source of education about child abuse, not just math, English and science.

9)      Volunteer at a local child abuse prevention program. Another way to get involved in the fight against child abuse is to volunteer your time. All NGOs are always on a lookout for volunteers. Check out the volunteer options on our website.

10)   Report suspected abuse or neglect. Last, but certainly not least, if you suspect abuse, report it. If you are being abused, don’t stay silent. Report to local police or the NGO concerned.

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India has 440 million children. That is more than the entire population of North America (USA, Mexico and Canada put together). Every fifth child in the world is Indian.

 

And what sort of life do these children have as they grow up? Well, they face some of the toughest challenges of anyone:

In 2007 the Indian Government published the results of one of the world\'s largest and most sophisticated studies on child abuse, carried out in conjunction with Unicef and Save the Children. This detailed research on over 12,000 children produced some shocking conclusions:

So this is some of the context from which so many children choose, or are forced, to leave their home or village and end up in a city like Delhi.

      •     Two thirds of children are victims of physical abuse. The majority are beaten in school, and over half have to work seven days a week.
      •     Over 50% have faced some kind of sexual abuse, and over 20% of them severe abuse.
      •     Half of children also face emotional abuse.

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There are several types of child abuse, but the core element that ties them together is the emotional effect on the child. Children need predictability, structure, clear boundaries, and the knowledge that their parents are looking out for their safety. Abused children cannot predict how their parents will act. Their world is an unpredictable, frightening place with no rules. Whether the abuse is a slap, a harsh comment, stony silence, or not knowing if there will be dinner on the table tonight, the end result is a child that feel unsafe, uncared for, and alone. 

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me? Contrary to this old saying, emotional abuse can severely damage a child’s mental health or social development, leaving lifelong psychological scars. Examples of emotional child abuse include:

Child neglect—a very common type of child abuse—is a pattern of failing to provide for a child\\\'s basic needs, whether it be adequate food, clothing, hygiene, or supervision. Child neglect is not always easy to spot. Sometimes, a parent might become physically or mentally unable to care for a child, such as with a serious injury, untreated depression, or anxiety. Other times, alcohol or drug abuse may seriously impair judgment and the ability to keep a child safe.

Older children might not show outward signs of neglect, becoming used to presenting a competent face to the outside world, and even taking on the role of the parent. But at the end of the day, neglected children are not getting their physical and emotional needs met.

Emotional child abuse

  • Constant belittling, shaming, and humiliating a child.
  • Calling names and making negative comparisons to others.
  • Telling a child he or she is “no good,\\\" \\\"worthless,\\\" \\\"bad,\\\" or \\\"a mistake.\\\"
  • Frequent yelling, threatening, or bullying.
  • Ignoring or rejecting a child as punishment, giving him or her the silent treatment.
  • Limited physical contact with the child—no hugs, kisses, or other signs of affection.
  • Exposing the child to violence or the abuse of others, whether it be the abuse of a parent, a sibling, or even a pet.

Child neglect

Child neglect—a very common type of child abuse—is a pattern of failing to provide for a child\\\'s basic needs, whether it be adequate food, clothing, hygiene, or supervision. Child neglect is not always easy to spot. Sometimes, a parent might become physically or mentally unable to care for a child, such as with a serious injury, untreated depression, or anxiety. Other times, alcohol or drug abuse may seriously impair judgment and the ability to keep a child safe.

Older children might not show outward signs of neglect, becoming used to presenting a competent face to the outside world, and even taking on the role of the parent. But at the end of the day, neglected children are not getting their physical and emotional needs met.

 

Physical child abuse

Physical abuse involves physical harm or injury to the child. It may be the result of a deliberate attempt to hurt the child, but not always. It can also result from severe discipline, such as using a belt on a child, or physical punishment that is inappropriate to the child’s age or physical condition. Many physically abusive parents and caregivers insist that their actions are simply forms of discipline—ways to make children learn to behave. But there is a big difference between using physical punishment to discipline and physical abuse. The point of disciplining children is to teach them right from wrong, not to make them live in fear

Child sexual abuse: A hidden type of abuse

Child sexual abuse is an especially complicated form of abuse because of its layers of guilt and shame. It\\\'s important to recognize that sexual abuse doesn\\\'t always involve body contact. Exposing a child to sexual situations or material is sexually abusive, whether or not touching is involved.

While news stories of sexual predators are scary, what is even more frightening is that sexual abuse usually occurs at the hands of someone the child knows and should be able to trust—most often close relatives. And contrary to what many believe, it’s not just girls who are at risk. Boys and girls both suffer from sexual abuse. In fact, sexual abuse of boys may be underreported due to shame and stigma.

The problem of shame and guilt in child sexual abuse

Aside from the physical damage that sexual abuse can cause, the emotional component is powerful and far-reaching. Sexually abused children are tormented by shame and guilt. They may feel that they are responsible for the abuse or somehow brought it upon themselves. This can lead to self-loathing and sexual problems as they grow older—often either excessive promiscuity or an inability to have intimate relations.

The shame of sexual abuse makes it very difficult for children to come forward. They may worry that others won’t believe them, will be angry with them, or that it will split their family apart. Because of these difficulties, false accusations of sexual abuse are not common, so if a child confides in you, take him or her seriously. Don’t turn a blind eye!

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The earlier child abuse is caught, the better the chance of recovery and appropriate treatment for the child. Child abuse is not always obvious. By learning some of the common warning signs of child abuse and neglect, you can catch the problem as early as possible and get both the child and the abuser the help that they need. Of course, just because you see a warning sign doesn’t automatically mean a child is being abused. It’s important to dig deeper, looking for a pattern of abusive behavior and warning

Warning signs of emotional abuse in children

  • Excessively withdrawn, fearful, or anxious about doing something wrong.
  • Shows extremes in behavior (extremely compliant or extremely demanding; extremely passive or extremely aggressive).
  • Doesn’t seem to be attached to the parent or caregiver.
  • Acts either inappropriately adult (taking care of other children) or inappropriately infantile (rocking, thumb-sucking, throwing tantrums).

Warning signs of physical abuse in children

  • Frequent injuries or unexplained bruises, welts, or cuts.
  • Is always watchful and “on alert,” as if waiting for something bad to happen.
  • Injuries appear to have a pattern such as marks from a hand or belt.
  • Shies away from touch, flinches at sudden movements, or seems afraid to go home.
  • Wears inappropriate clothing to cover up injuries, such as long-sleeved shirts on hot days.

Warning signs of neglect in children

  • Clothes are ill-fitting, filthy, or inappropriate for the weather.
  • Hygiene is consistently bad (unbathed, matted and unwashed hair, noticeable body odor).
  • Untreated illnesses and physical injuries.
  • Is frequently unsupervised or left alone or allowed to play in unsafe situations and environments.
  • Is frequently late or missing from school.

Warning signs of sexual abuse in children

  • Trouble walking or sitting.
  • Displays knowledge or interest in sexual acts inappropriate to his or her age, or even seductive behavior.
  • Makes strong efforts to avoid a specific person, without an obvious reason.
  • Doesn’t want to change clothes in front of others or participate in physical activities.
  • An STD or pregnancy, especially under the age of 14.
  • Runs away from home.

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What should you do if you suspect that a child has been abused? How do you approach him or her? Or what if a child comes to you? It’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed and confused in this situation. Child abuse is a difficult subject that can be hard to accept and even harder to talk about.

You can make a tremendous difference in the life of an abused child, especially if you take steps to stop the abuse early. When talking with an abused child, the best thing you can provide is calm reassurance and unconditional support. Let your actions speak for you if you’re having trouble finding the words. Remember that talking about the abuse may be very difficult for the child. It’s your job to reassure the child and provide whatever help you can.

 

Tips for talking to an abused child

  • Avoid denial and remain calm. A common reaction to news as unpleasant and shocking as child abuse is denial. However, if you display denial to a child, or show shock or disgust at what they are saying, the child may be afraid to continue and will shut down. As hard as it may be, remain as calm and reassuring as you can.
  • Don’t interrogate. Let the child explain to you in his or her own words what happened, but don’t interrogate the child or ask leading questions. This may confuse and fluster the child and make it harder for them to continue their story.
  • Reassure the child that they did nothing wrong. It takes a lot for a child to come forward about abuse. Reassure him or her that you take what is said seriously, and that it is not the child’s fault.
  • Safety comes first. If you feel that your safety or the safety of the child would be threatened if you try to intervene, leave it to the professionals. You may be able to provide more support later after the initial professional intervention.

Source: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/child_abuse_physical_emotional_sexual_neglect.htm