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Reach Out is a campaign constructed to bring awareness to and encourage the prevention of child abuse. Child abuse is the mistreatment of a child and exists in various forms including emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.

 

Did you know, approximately 5 children die every day because of child abuse. In a study with Canadian street youth, one-third of the youth had experienced child abuse. 95% of child sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator. 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 boys will be sexually abused before they reach the age of 18. More than 5 children die of child abuse and neglect ona daily basis, over 70% of these children are below the age of three. And why does child abuse remain so prevalent? Silence, secrecy, social stigma and lack of resources mean the abuse often goes unreported. 

 

About 80% of 21-year-olds who were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder. Boys (48.5%) and girls (51.2%) become victims at nearly the same rate. Abused children are less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs. They’re also 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.Reports that came from teachers, law enforcement or legal representatives, or social service providers: 60% (teachers 17%; law enforcement 17%; social service 11%). 

 

Babies who are victims of shaken baby syndrome can suffer bleeding in the eye or brain; damage to the spinal cord and neck; rib and bone fractures. One in every four victims of shaken baby syndrome dies, and nearly all victims experience serious health consequences. Child physical abuse can result in the malformation of the brain, resulting in impaired mental development and lack of growth in vital areas.Child abuse victims as young as three years of age have shown signs of depression and withdrawal symptoms.

 

Child abuse victims are more likely to exhibit anti-social behaviors, including borderline personality disorders and violent behavior.Child abuse victims placed in foster or kinship care because of abuse or neglect were found to score lower than other students in tests of cognitive capacity, language development, and academic achievement.Child abuse and maltreatment can have a multitude of long-term effects on physical health.  Research has found that during the following three years after the maltreatment investigation, 28% of abused and neglected children had a chronic health condition.  Nearly half of the infants in foster care who have experienced maltreatment exhibit some form of cognitive delay and have lower IQ scores, language difficulties, and neonatal challenges compared to children who have not been abused or neglected.   

 

Unexplained injuries. Visible signs of physical abuse may include unexplained burns or bruises in the shape of objects. You may also hear unconvincing explanations of a child’s injuries. Changes in behavior. Abuse can lead to many changes in a child’s behavior. Abused children often appear scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive. Returning to earlier behaviors. Abused children may display behaviors shown at earlier ages, such as thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, fear of the dark or strangers. For some children, even loss of acquired language or memory problems may be an issue.