Here is a list of warning signs provided by Joyful Heart Foundation that you can look for if you think you know a child who is a victim of child abuse or neglect.
- Changes in mood and behavior. Abused children can appear more aggressive, scared, anxious, depressed or withdrawn. They may be anxious about leaving school or going places with the abuser.
- Changes in eating or sleeping. Stress, fear and anxiety caused by abuse can lead to weight gain or loss, frequent nightmares, difficulty sleeping or extreme fatigue.
- Changes in school performance and attendance. Abused children may have difficulty concentrating in school or have excessive absences. A child may also present as an overachiever and possibly be hyper-vigilant about grades or school activities.
- Lack of personal care or hygiene. Children may appear uncared for or exhibit poor hygiene as a result of parental neglect or sexual abuse.
- Risk-taking behaviors. Young people who are being abused may engage in high-risk activities such as using drugs or alcohol, carrying a weapon or overly sexualized behavior.
You can also contact the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).
If you are interested in volunteering at the Children's Home of Lubbock or becoming more informed about child abuse and neglect in Lubbock you can call (806) 762-0481.