Childline Botswana Trust

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INDICATORS OF ABUSE

Introduction

These are pointers to show that something is wrong with the child. Children will often take time to open up about the abuse, as sometimes they are not even aware that what is happening to them is abuse/wrong. Indicators assist the teacher to be sensitive to recurrent behaviour that though sometimes normal, is out of place with the child's development.

There are no definitive indicators of child abuse and these signs may be characteristic of other changes in the child’ life. Therefore, the key to detection is to look for a cluster of behaviour traits rather than single ones,with the exception of the more obvious ones like bruises. Sudden changes in behaviour, extended unhappiness, isolation or destructive behaviours directed at self or others are common. There are no definitive indicators of child abuse and this signs may be characteristic of other changes in the child' life; therefore the key to detection is to look for a cluster of this behaviours rather than single ones unless the more obvious ones like bruises. Sudden changes in behaviour, extended unhappiness, isolation or destructive behaviours directed at self or others are common.

Other indicators may include drawings and paintings, and play activities which reflect the child's state of mind.

INDICATORS OF ABUSE

Recognizing Physical Abuse


Fingertip bruising on the body, arms and legs, which may indicate that the child has been gripped hard.
Bruising that shows the shape of hand or object used for especially on the face.
Small round burns which maybe caused by a cigarette.
Black eyes particularly where the explanation is inconsistent.
Burns and scalds in unusual places or with a neatly.
Bite marks.
Broken bones may result in the child sitting or standing awkwardly being unable to move easily, holding a limb in an odd position, and generally seeming in pain.
Head injuries may result in drowsiness, faintness, fits or vomiting.The child may appear quiet, dull and unresponsive, generally unwell.
Unlikely or inconsistent explanations of injuries.
Untreated injuries.

INDICATORS OF ABUSE

Recognizing Emotional Abuse


Characterized by difficult or disruptive behaviour.
Aggressiveness
Withdrawal
Poor personal relationships
Emotional distress
Destructiveness
Fear and anxiety
Attention seeking behaviour

INDICATORS OF ABUSE

Recognizing Sexual Behaviour


Soreness, redness, bruising, and cuts around the genitals and anus.
Pain or discomfort around the vagina or penis, or the anus.
Discomfort or difficulty in walking and sitting.
Discharge or bleeding from vagina or penis
Sexual knowledge and / or behaviour that seems inappropriate to a child's age and maturity
Sexual play with other children that demonstrates sophisticated knowledge
Running away, anxiety or despairunable to move easily, holding a limb in an odd position, and generally seeming in pain.
Fear of certain adults withdrawal from other children
Acting out sexual scenes through play or drawing
Regressive behaviour e.g. thumb sucking, wetting the bed, fear of the dark
Anger, hostility, aggression towards adults and other children
Acting out sexual scenes through play or drawing
Behaviour and achievements in nursery or school deteriorates
Sleep and eating disturbances
Telling lies
Unexplained or psychosomatic illnesses
Persistent masturbation
Self dramatizing behaviour e.g. tantrums , attention seeking behaviour , elaborate fantasies, hysterical attacks, weeping fits
Disclosure to an adult, possibly a partial or unconvincing account of the abuse, which may then be retracted.
Promiscuity , pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases

INDICATORS OF ABUSE

Recognizing Neglect


Poorly dressed or untidiness
Lateness to school
Lies
Truancy
Emotional distress
Tiredness.
A look of being haggard and emaciated
Frequent illnesses

PROGRAMMES

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DISCIPLINE

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ADDRESS
Childline Botswana
Gaborone, Botswana
Block 7, Plot No. 2045,Next to Limkomkwing University

CONTACTS
P.O Box 202195,Bontleng
Toll Free: (+267) 0800 300 900
Email: info@childlinebotswana.org
Phone: (+267) 3 900 900
Mobile: (+267) 72 300 901