The Virginia Administrative Code establishes five (5) categories of abuse or neglect, including, physical abuse. physical neglect. medical neglect, mental abuse or neglect and sexual abuse.
Types of Abuse
PHYSICAL ABUSE occurs when a caretaker creates or inflicts, threatens to create or inflict, or allows to be created or inflicted upon a child a physical injury by other than accidental means or creates a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or impairment of bodily functions.
PHYSICAL NEGLECT occurs when there is the failure to provide food, clothing, shelter, or supervision for a child to the extent that the child’s health or safety is endangered. This also includes abandonment and situations where the parent or caretaker’s own incapacitating behavior or absence prevents or severely limits the performing of child caring tasks
MEDICAL NEGLECT occurs when there is the failure by the caretaker to obtain and or follow through with a complete regimen of medical, mental or dental care for a condition which if untreated could result in illness or developmental delays.
MENTAL ABUSE OR NEGLECT occurs when a caretaker creates or inflicts, threatens to create or inflict, or allows to be created or inflicted upon such child a mental injury by other than accidental means or creates a substantial risk of impairment of mental functions.
SEXUAL ABUSE occurs when there is any act of sexual exploitation or any sexual act upon a child in violation of the law which is committed or allowed to be committed by the child’s parents or other persons responsible for the care of the child.
Source VDSS Division of Family Services
Signs & Symptoms of Abuse
Unexplained injuries. Unexplained burns or bruises.
Changes in behavior. The child may appear scared, anxious, withdrawn or aggressive.
Returning to earlier behaviors. Such as thumb-sucking, bed wetting or fear.
Fear of going home. Anxiety about leaving school or going with the person who is abusing them.
Changes in eating. The stress, fear and anxiety can lead to affect eating habits.
Changes in sleeping habits. Children may have nightmares or difficulty sleeping and appear tired.
Changes in school performance and attendance. Difficulty concentrating or excessive absences.
Lack of personal care or hygiene. May appear uncared for, dirty or neglected.
Risk-taking behaviors. May engage in high-risk activities like drugs, alcohol.
Inappropriate sexual behaviors. May exhibit inappropriate sexualized behavior.
Source : KnowandTell.org
Myth #1: Stranger…Danger! Children are victimized by psychopathic strangers.
90% of victims are abused by someone they know and trust.
Sex offenders carefully select and groom their targeted victims, and often create a plan to get a particular child alone. They want to obtain a child’s friendship or trust – and sometimes the parent’s friendship and trust as well. This makes the child more vulnerable.
Myth #2: Sexual Abuse is a socioeconomic and cultural problem.
Sexual abuse crosses all socioeconomic, neighborhood, race and class barriers. Small and large families, in cities and in rural areas, wealthy and lower income, and in homes, schools, churches and businesses.
Myth #3: Sexual Abuse is rare. It is one of the most prevalent health problems children face with the most serious array of consequences.
1 in 4 girls & 1 in 7 boys are sexually abused.
Myth #4: Children usually tell someone they are abused.
Only 30% of child victims disclose the fact that they have been sexually abused.
Most children delay or never disclose child sexual abuse to friends, family or the authorities.
Myth #5: Adults have higher rates of sexual assaults than children.
Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under.
Children are victimized at a much higher rate. In 2000, the rate for youths aged 12 to 17 was 2-3 times higher than for adults.
Myth #6: Most sexually abused victims become healthy adults.
50% of sexually abused children suffer trauma severe enough to negatively impact their lives.
3x more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.
2x more likely to drop out of school.
Myth #7: Many children lie about being abused.
<5% of child victims disclose the fact that they have been sexually abused.
Source : DarknesstoLight.org
Long Term Psychological & Financial Effects
The CDC estimates that the spends $100 billion annually for the costs of child abuse.
These expenses are largely paid for by the public sector – the taxpayer.
Child sexual abuse has lasting societal consequences. The costs impact multiple sectors including heath care, criminal justice, child welfare, and special education.
Delinquency and crime, often stemming from substance abuse, are more prevalent in adolescents with a history of child sexual abuse.
The risk of teen pregnancy is much higher for girls with a history of child sexual abuse.
Academic problems in childhood are a common symptom of sexual abuse.
Mental health problems are a common long-term consequence of child sexual abuse.
Child sexual abuse is associated with physical health problems in adulthood.
Substance abuse problems beginning in childhood or adolescence are some of the most common consequences of child sexual abuse.
THE AVERAGE LIFETIME COST OF CHILD ABUSE PER VICTIM IS $210,012.
39% OF 7 TO 12 YEAR OLD GIRLS WITH A HISTORY OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE HAVE ACADEMIC DIFFICULTIES.
MORE THAN 70% OF MALE CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS SEEK TREATMENT FOR ISSUES LIKE SUBSTANCE ABUSE, SUICIDAL THOUGHTS, AND ATTEMPTED SUICIDE.
Source : DarknesstoLight.org