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There are four main categories of child abuse: neglect, physical abuse, psychological or emotional abuse, and sexual abuse. A child could be subjected to more than one of these.
As adults, it takes a long time to get past the doubts and nail something down as abuse. It is definitely more difficult for a child (a minor; that is anyone under the age of eighteen). When a child does realize it is abuse, he/she may muster the courage to talk to someone about it – in most cases, this is a parent. What if the child has approached his/her parent(s), and been dismissed? This could happen if the parents are not aware, or do not believe the child. It could also happen in the following scenarios –
First the bad news – These circumstances are not as remote as one would think. It could even be happening in your neighbourhood. The good news is you and I maybe able do something about it.
When is intervention warranted?
A child in any of the above scenarios needs help. How would you know?
Who can help?
How can I help?
At the same time, be very careful not to do anything that could leave you open to allegations.
We need to bear in mind that not all children are as fortunate as our own.
If you would like to help, be watchful. Your love could save a child from growing into an adult with low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, personality disorders… and may even be what stops him/her from turning into an abuser.
Arundhati Venkatesh is a children's writer. Her books have won several awards, including the
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