"Child Abuse: What You Really Want to
Seventy-nine percent of children who are abused are
under age 4. Fourty-seven percent of that group is
less than a year old.
sobering statistics were part of Veronica Crawley's
presentation about "Child Abuse: What You Really
Want to Know" held Thursday at the Bladen County
Cooperative Extension Office in Elizabethtown.
The discussion was part of
EastPoint's monthly community education series.
EastPointe is a Lumberton-based managed-care
organization serving Bladen, Columbus, Duplin,
Edgecombe, Greene, Lenoir, Nash, Robeson, Sampson,
Scotland, Wayne and Wilson counties.
"Abuse has a confusing, hurtful and frightening
effect, which makes a child feel emotionally
unsafe," Crawley told the group of about 30, which
included representatives from Social Services,
schools, and other who work in child protective
Crawley, who is a
counselor with an office in Whiteville, said the
most important thing an adult can do in response to
a child abuse report is to believe the child, and to
"I believe that 95
percent of the child abuse reports by ages six and
under are true," she said, "no matter what the legal
system decides due to a lack of evidence."
There are six types of child abuse -- physical,
verbal, sexual, sexual exploitation, emotional, and
psychological -- and many often overlap, she said. A
high level of stress within the family results in a
lot of the abuse cases.
the signs to look for in a child who may be being
abused are overly compliant, passive or withdrawn,
refusing to change clothes for activities such as
gym class, self-injurious behavior, or being always
Crawley also discussed
an abuser's personality and characteristics. They
are narcissistic, psychopathic, having a poor
self-image, defensive, social alienation,
preoccupation, and charismatic or charming.
Also discussed during the 90-minute presentation
were the grooming phases of child sexual abuse, why
children don't tell about being abused, and why
children abuse other children.
In conclusion, Crawley reviewed who was responsible,
by law, for reporting child abuse, but also stressed
the person responsible for reporting child abuse is
every one of us.