When we think of child abuse, we may think of someone physically harming a small child. But about one-third of the victims of child abuse are teens. And child abuse includes neglect and emotional abuse, as well as physical and sexual abuse.
Some studies have shown that one in every three girls and one in every six boys become victims of sexual abuse by the age of 18. The abuser usually threatens or blames the victim, so that the victim will keep the abuse a secret. Abusers are usually someone the child knows—a family member or a well-known adult the victim trusts — and they are likely to repeat the abuse. As they do, the violence grows worse.
HERE ARE SOME SIGNS OF PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE:
WHAT ARE EMOTIONAL ABUSE AND NEGLECT?
Emotional Abuse – occurs when the adult(s) in charge frequently or even constantly use screaming, threatening, blaming, sarcasm, putting down as ways to control.
An adult who is always depressed, negative, picking fights with the other members of the household can also be a source of emotional abuse.
Emotional Neglect – occurs when parents ignore children. It may happen because the parents are using drugs or alcohol, or because they have their own problems, but it can have serious effects on children and teens.
Physical Neglect is also a form of child abuse. It occurs when a parent or caretaker fails to provide a child or teen with adequate food, shelter, clothing, protection, supervision and/or medical care.
If you suspect a child or teen you know is being abused, or if you are being abused yourself, call for help. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Keeping the abuse a secret does not help you or anyone else; keeping the secret only causes the cycle of pain and shame to go on and on.
NOTE: Legally, you have certain rights. Among these are the right always to be safe, to have a safe place to live, medical care, food and clean clothing. See Legal Assistance. Also see the Counseling section for additional referral information.
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