Disclaimer: there may be information in this article that is hard or triggering for other to read.


Unfortunately when we talk about the development of children we also have to talk about the mistreatment the some children will experience in this world and how this effects their development. This definitely a heavy topic and not one that many people can stomach the conversation, but it is one that we need to have. It is one we need to raise awareness for. As someone who is big in advocating for the rights of others and wants to work as a victim advocate or a counselor for children, I believe that education on what types of abuse there are and how to spot them are very important.

  • Physical abuse – this is characterized by physical injury that is resulted from beating, kicking, burning, or anything that will physically harm the child. This can come from purposely harming a child or excessive physical punishment
  • Child neglect – this is characterized by a failure to provide and take care of a child’s basic needs. It can be physcial, educational, or emotional. It is the most seen form of child mistreament, shown 3 times more than abuse
  • Sexual abuse – this is characterized by fondling of child’s genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, and more things that come with having a sexual experience with a child
  • Emotional abuse – this is characterized by acts by parents of caregivers that have/could cause serious behavioral, cognitive, or emotional problems.

Signs of abuse can be seen in developmental problems due to the abuse. Children who experience abuse are more likely to have:

  • poor emotion regulation
  • difficulty with attachment
  • difficulty in reactions in social situations
  • mental health issues – depression, anxiety, low self-esteem
  • difficulty in school – lower grades, getting into more trouble than usual

Signs of physical abuse

  • often get injured
  • pattern in these injuries
  • injuries at parts of the body that are usually protected
  • story about the injuries change
  • no medical care for injuries

Signs of sexual abuse

  • not wanting to go to restroom
  • have discharge from genitals
  • bleed through pants
  • signs of discomfort while sitting or using the restroom

Signs of emotional abuse

  • avoids particular parent
  • harms them self on purpose
  • doesn’t care surroundings
  • acts more fearful, angry, or sad (more than usual)

Sign of neglect

  • very underweight/overweight
  • sick or tired all the time
  • dirty with poor personal hygiene

These problems can also stem into adulthood where mistreated adults have physical, emotional, and sexual problems. (Santrock, 2011, p. 294) A study done in 2013 shows that young adults that experienced.

Knowing this information is very beneficial for the future if you were to be in profession or in an area were you would be around kids a majority of a time.

There are many ways to prevent these type of situations: advocacy and what this blog is doing now, which is education. Having more resources for certain professions to be better equip to help a child would be beneficial. Also knowing that it is your responsibility to say something to someone if you were to notice any sign that a child is being abused.

References – Articles and Images:

Santrock, J. W. (2011). Children (13th ed.). New York : McGraw-Hill Humanities.

Child Abuse and Neglect – Symptoms. (n.d.). Retrieved April 8, 2017, from http://www.webmd.com/parenting/tc/child-maltreatment-symptoms#1

Overview of Child Maltreatment – Pediatrics. (n.d.). Retrieved April 8, 2017, from http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/child-maltreatment/overview-of-child-maltreatment

Recato, A. (2016, April 11). The Truth About Child Abuse [Digital image]. Retrieved April 8, 2017, from https://www.theodysseyonline.com/truth-child-abuse


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