April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds and 4 children die every day as a result of abuse. Seventy-five percent of these victims are under the age of 4. Reports of child abuse are rising, but how do you know if a child is being abused when some are too scared to say anything?
Adult child abuse survivor and author, Amanda Richardson, was mentally, physically, and sexually abused as a child. Her book, Saved From Silence
, chronicles her horrific abuse, the denial of abuse by her mother, and how she was able to overcome it.
Part of preventing child abuse is knowing the signs. Richardson sheds light on how to recognize abuse with signs such as:
1. A child that exhibits sexual knowledge beyond their years
2. Drastic changes in personality that can be pinpointed to an event or a certain time may warrant further evaluation.
3. A child that suddenly obsesses about cleanliness or conversely becomes poor with their personal hygiene.
4. If a child suddenly becomes afraid to go to a place they were previously comfortable going (to a friends house, a neighbor, a family member's house).