Child Protection- Task 1

Jodie Bloomer

Child “abuse is commonly recognised as any behaviour towards a child that causes harm to that child in some way. This behaviour may be deliberate, or the parent may not be aware of the affects of their behaviour.” (Flynn, H. et Al. 2004. p.51). Child abuse is categorised into four main areas- physical, sexual, emotional and neglect and abuse can be classed solely in one area or a combination or these areas.

Penny Tassoni states “physical abuse takes place when an adult inflicts injuries on a child or does not prevent them- for example, hitting, shaking, or using excessive force when feeding.” (Tassoni, P. et Al. 2002. p.570). If a child has marks or bruises to the body in places that are unlikely to be caused by an accident it could be a sign of physical abuse. These signs “might include unusual-shaped bruises, scalds and burns (sometimes from cigarettes), bite marks, and fractures.” (Tassoni, P. et Al. 2002. p.575). Children may show a number of behavioural signs that also indicate physical abuse. These could include being withdrawn and unusually quiet, being aggressive towards others or in role-play situations, not wanting to remove clothing, for example getting changed for P.E. It could also be if the child doesn’t want to sit down or seems to ‘wince’ when putting pressure on part of the body, and another sign is if the child is reluctant to be with their parent or another carer as this could indicate that the child is afraid of the person.

Sexual abuse is when “the adult uses the child in order to gratify their sexual desires. This could involve intercourse or anal intercourse; it may involve watching pornographic material with the child. Children may be forced to engage in sexually explicit behaviour or oral sex, masturbation or the fondling of sexual parts.”  (Bruce, T. et Al. 2005. p.514). Sexual abuse is more likely to be inflicted on a child by a member of their family, or somebody that they know and trust. Some of the signs of sexual abuse are bruising, itching or discomfort in genital areas, which as a result could cause the child pain when sitting or walking, “vaginal discharge in girls, swollen penis or discharge in boys,” bruises or marks on the top and inner thigh area, and “distress when having nappy changed (babies and toddlers).” (Green, S. 2006. p.78). The behavioural signs that may indicate if a child is being sexually abused include regression, for example bed-wetting, becoming withdrawn and keeping to themselves, or acting out and portraying sexually inappropriate behaviour to other children or adults. Children may also try to make themselves less desirable to their abusers by trying to change their appearance- this could lead to eating disorders including excessive weight gain as well as weight loss, or bad personal hygiene to try and repel their abuser.

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Emotional abuse is “persistent emotional ill treatment of a child… It may involve making a child feel worthless or rejected by ignoring him/her; calling the child names or belittling him/her; continually blaming one child for other children’s behaviour; or being emotional; or, as parents and carers being so involved in their own problems that they overlook their child’s needs.” (Flynn, H. et Al. 2004. p.53). This type of the abuse is least likely to have any physical signs or symptoms, although some children may start to self-harm as a way to gain attention. “The main indicator of emotional abuse ...

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