Info & Advice

Abuse

What is child abuse?

To be abused is to be badly treated. Child abuse happens when a child is badly treated by a parent, guardian or caregiver or a young person.

There are different types of child abuse:

Physical abuse

Physical abuse occurs when an adult physically hurts a child on purpose.

Examples:

  • Using a lighted cigarette or an iron to burn the arms, legs, or any other parts of the body, resulting in burn marks
  • Beating a child until there are red marks on the body, or until the skin bleeds
  • Throwing a heavy object, like a chair, at a child
  • Strangling the child
  • Shaking a child forcefully
Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse occurs when sexual activity happens between a child and an adult or young person.

Examples:

  • Touching of a child’s private parts (such as the breasts, penis, vagina, buttocks)
  • Hurting a child in the private parts, resulting in injuries
  • Exposing a child to pornography
  • Having sex with a child
  • Rape
  • Exposing one’s private parts or other parts of the body in an indecent manner to the child
Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse happens when an adult persistently makes a child feel bad about himself. When this happens often enough, the child can be affected emotionally, intellectually and socially.

Examples:

  • Ignoring a child
  • Telling a child that he is worthless or useless
  • Using harsh words like, “idiot”, “stupid”, “bastard”
  • Not showing affection to the child
  • Threatening to cause hurt to  a child or to someone or something the child cares about
Neglect

A child is neglected when a parent or caregiver does not provide the child with their basic needs, such as clothing, food, water, shelter and medical care.

Children who have been emotionally abused or neglected may not be physically hurt, but they may:

  • Often feel unhappy
  • Throw tantrums
  • Seek attention from other adults or strangers
  • Not be able to concentrate in school
  • Have poor eating habits or overeat
  • Be underweight
  • Have poor personal hygiene or skin conditions

Children who have been abused may feel sad, angry or even afraid about what happened to them.  Many also feel helpless about their situations.

Like many caring adults, Tinkle Friend is here to support a child who is experiencing or experienced abuse. At Tinkle Friend, we talk to children who have been abused and help them through it. Thus, always remember that help is available.

What can you do if you have been abused, or if you know of someone who has been abused?

Tell somebody about what happened. Do not be afraid to tell someone about it!

In fact, it is very IMPORTANT that you tell someone, so that help will be provided!

YOU SHOULD TELL even if:

  • The abuser says that you should not tell anybody and keep it a secret. Remember, this is not a good secret to keep!
  • The abuser threatens to do something bad to you or your family if you tell and you are afraid of what might happen.
  • The abuser tells you that this is only a game and there is no need to tell anybody. Remember, this is not a game that should be played.

Children who have experienced abuse will feel uncomfortable and bad about themselves. However, always remember that this is not your fault!

Telling is the right thing to do, and it is very brave of you to tell. If no one believes you at first, do not give up. Continue to tell other adults until someone believes you.

You can approach:

  • Your school counselor
  • Your teacher
  • Your parents
  • Tinkle Friend Helpline
  • A trusted adult

Some children might be reluctant to tell others about the abuse because the abuser could be a family member or someone close to you, for example, a parent, a relative or a close neighbour who helps to take care of you.

However, sometimes, the abusers themselves need help. They may not know how to cope with their problems, therefore they ended up abusing their family members. By informing someone else about the abuse, you are also helping the abuser to get the help they need.

Child Abuse is not right.

Boys and girls, you deserve a childhood that is free from abuse. You do not deserve to be badly treated.  If you have been badly treated, or know someone who has been abused, tell an adult about it today!

Useful numbers to report abuse:

  • Tinkle Friend Helpline: 1800-2744-788
  • Police: 999
How to protect yourself from sexual abuse

Remember, N.O.T which stands for

N- Say NO

Say “No” to the attacker.  You can also stretch out your hand when doing this to create distance between yourself and the attacker

O– Walk Out

Walk away from the attacker or walk out of the place where it is happening and stay away from the attacker. If this is not possible, try not to be alone with the attacker at all times.

T- Tell Somebody (refer to main text)