Published On: Mon, Feb 19th, 2024

Child abuse: how to tell your parents

Child abuse is a crime that happens all around the world. A child is innocent and does not know how to communicate. Most parents do not take what the child says too seriously either. This is why most of the cases of child abuse go unreported. Children from all over the world often face harassment of different nature. The kids do not know how to tell the parents and what the reaction of the parents will be. The child keeps suffering and tolerating. When the child abuse is not dealt well it can lead to many complications later in life. If a child who has been abused is handled well then there are chances that the child will grow up to live a normal life. A child can be abused by anyone, no matter how much you trust that person.

When as a parent you speak to the child about abuse you must also explain to them how they must talk to you in case they feel they have been abused. It is important that you talk regularly to the child. You must spend as much time as possible with the child so that you know immediately if there is a change in the behaviour of the child. For example the child may become quite all of a sudden or the child may stop eating. There can be many things that the child starts to do when they are abused.

Many NGO’s and social workers visit schools often to speak to the kids about abuse. These people say that the most important part of abuse is that the child must know how to talk about it. If the child does not report it either he or she will be abused again or they will keep suffering in more than one way throughout their lives. As a parent it is important to share a close bond with the child.

The parent must be the guardian but also must be a friend because the child will open up only to a friend. The child will hesitate and may not want to talk about the abuse. The reasons can be many. The child can be scared, maybe the child was threatened by the abuser, the child does not know actually what is happening, in many cases the child feels guilty thinking the abuse was actually their fault, and there can be many reasons like this. The point of concern is not why the child hesitates to communicate the point is the child must be encouraged to talk about what is happening. 

Although the child is the one who was abused and he or she must communicate the matter still it is the responsibility of the parents to try to find out what is happening. As a parent you will be able to find the changes in the child and in most cases the changes will be as follows.

  1. The child will become quite and prefer not to communicate with anyone.
  2. They will get nightmares and wake up screaming from sleep.
  3. You can find cuts and marks all across the body of the child.
  4. The child will get into depression and if a little elder the child may try to commit suicide.
  5. Sometime you will notice that the child becomes angry for no reason and starts to hurt others and as well as themselves.
  6. The child will not be able to concentrate in school. You will get complaints about the child.
  7. The child will show no interest in any activities.
  8. They will start to get scared of meeting and talking to strangers.

If the child is not able to talk about the abuse to anyone they keep suffering more and more. They feel that there is no one who actually cares for them and as a result they will withdraw and damage their mental and physical health.

When we talk about abuse of a child we are not saying that it is the responsibility of the parents alone to help their children. Even a third person like a neighbour or a care giver even a teacher can report about the abuse of a child if he or she is convinced that the child is suffering and the way the child is behaving is not normal. If as an adult you see a child suffering and you do not do anything about it then it is definitely an act of crime.

As we have already discussed it is very difficult for a child to talk about abuse they may need help of some experts to open up about the abuse. This is why it is important that professionals and experts are involved and they do the talking with the child so that the child opens up about the abuse and helps the authorities to nab those who are doing the crimes. The child will automatically show a lot of relief as soon as he or she talks about the abuse. The process of opening up might be difficult but the end will be a happy experience for the child.

Another mistake the parents or the person who has noticed abuse does is they go and try to speak to the abuser openly. This can be a huge mistake. If you suspect that someone is abusing the child or the child comes and tells you the name of a person who is abusing him or her you must try to follow the law and not take things in your hand. If you directly go and charge the accused you can put your life as well as the life of the child in danger. By taking the law in hand there is nothing that you can get out of it.

Many people do not even know that there are special departments in the hospitals that look into these cases of child abuse. They have their own ways of treating children who are physically abused. Similarly there are people who can help the child to heal mentally. The mental damage that a child faces after abuse is huge and it can lead to many complications later in life.

A child must be heard and given the protection necessary. It is the right of a child and you as a parent must provide these to a child. Almost every second day we hear about child abuse. As parents you must also educate yourself well so that you know exactly what to do when the child tells you that they have been abused. Remember that on the part of the child it requires a lot of courage to speak about the abuse. Even adults at times we find it so humiliating to discuss abuse of any type. We fear that people will not believe us and they will make fun of us. As adults if we find it such a challenge just image the state of these innocent small children, thus when a child takes the courage to speak about it he or she must be appreciate and those who have committed the crime must be punished at any cost.

Many parents live in this feeling that their child is safe and they cannot be abused. We will now discuss how the parents must talk to the child in order to understand what is wrong and why the child is behaving in a certain way.

  1. A child no matter what their age is will not talk about an abuse easily.
  2. Try to talk to the child and ask open questions. Keep asking the child why he or she is upset and what is bothering them. The more you talk to the child the chances are higher that the child will feel he or she is being cared for and they will open up.
  3. Very important point is listening to the child completely. Let the child complete what he or she has to say. To not jump into conclusion.
  4. What the child says may seem a little difficult to believe. They may blame someone you trust a lot or someone who is very close to you. Do not suspect what the child says. Encourage the child to speak.
  5. If possible secretly record what the child is saying. This can become a proof later.
  6. It is also possible that you are suspecting an abuse but the matter is totally different. Do not take the conversation to a direction you want instead let the child talk about what they have to.
  7. Do not force the child to talk. Let the child take their own time and open up. It’s ok if the child does not talk about what happened and opens up about the incident only in their adulthood. This is acceptable. Forcing the child to speak is no solution.
  8. Do not ask too direct questions like is someone touching your private parts or is someone touching you in an inappropriate way. Keep the questions open. Ask what happened to you, why have you become so quite? Is there something that you want to talk about?
  9. The tip is be prepared mentally that the child may report an abuse but do not force the child to talk about it.
  10. If the child is small and was not subjected to any abuse direct questions can make them very confused and scared. They may withdraw more and refuse to open up.
  11. A child when abused has a feeling that something is wrong but does not know exactly what is wrong. They do not know about the sexuality and that is why while talking to them you must be extra careful.

Many schools arrange for special classes so that the child can be told about abuse and how they must communicate about abuse to the parents. A child is taught the difference between good touch and bad touch so that they know what the difference is and what they should do when someone touches them in an inappropriate way.

About the Author

sudipta0906@yahoo.co.in'
All Rights Reserved