Child Abuse: Know Your Rights

We hear many people talking about child abuse but I am not sure what it is. There are different kinds of abuse like social; physical and emotional abuse. Neglecting a child is a form of abuse.

Child Physical Abuse is the International Infliction of an Injury on a Child. These are Indicators that a Child is being physically abused:

Physical indicators of physical child abuse:

  • Bite marks
  • Bruises on uncommonly injured body surfaces
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • High incidence of accidents or frequent injuries
  • Fractures/broken bones in unusual places such as the skull, ribs etc.
  • Injuries, swellings to face and extremities
  • Discolouration of skin
  • Blunt-instrument marks
  • Human hand marks
  • Multiple injuries at different stages of healing
  • Evidence of poor care/failure to thrive

Behavioural indicators of physical child abuse:

The child:

  • Avoids physical contact with others
  • Is apprehensive when other children cry
  • Wears clothing to purposely conceal injury, such as long sleeves
  • Refuses to undress for sport or for required physical exams at school
  • Give inconsistent versions about occurrences of injuries
  • Seems frightened of parents
  • Is often late/absent from school
  • Comes to school early and seems reluctant to go home afterwards
  • Has difficulty getting along with others
  • Plays aggressively and often hurts peers
  • Complains of pain upon movement of contact
  • Has a history of running away from home

Children’s Rights:

  1. I have the right to a loving and caring family, a proper safe and comfortable home, clothing and healthy food.
  2. I have the right to be told the house rules of where I live.
  3. As a child, I should not be forced to work.
  4. I have the right to an education suitable to my aptitudes and abilities.
  5. I have the right to a say in my care and any changes to how I am cared for, according to my age and maturity.
  6. I have the right to get special care for special needs.
  7. I have the right to be protected from hurt.
  8. I have the right to good health care if I am sick and to be kept away from cigarettes, alcohol and drugs.
  9. I am a real person and have a right to be treated properly.
  10. I have the right to be taken seriously and to make mistakes.
  11. I have the right to my own religion and culture.
  12. I have the right to my name and my nationality.
  13. I have the right to be treated the same, no matter what my colour, race gender, language or religion.
  14. I have the right to be proud of my heritage and beliefs.
  15. I have the right to speak and be heard.
  16. I have the right to send and receive a private mail that is not read or opened by others.
  17. I have the right to privacy.
  18. I have the right to own my own things.
  19. I have the right to speak and visit in private with my family or any other person like my big friend, a person representing me like my social worker or my lawyer.
  20. I have a right to a lawyer in courtrooms and hearings affecting my future.
  21. I have a right to live in a nice place and not be put in prison or in a police cell.
  22. I have the right to know what my rights are.

www.saps.gov.za

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