of Ridgeland, SC
One Town Square
P.O. Box 1719
Ridgeland, SC 29936
After Hours Phone:
mission of the Ridgeland Police Department is to work in
a true partnership with the citizens of Ridgeland to enhance
the quality of life in our Town by raising the level of
public safety through law enforcement, to reduce the fear,
and incidence of crime.
In accomplishing the goals: Service will be our commitment,
honor and integrity, our mandate.
Child abuse is more than bruises and broken bones. While physical abuse might be the most visible, other types of abuse, such as emotional abuse and neglect, also leave deep, lasting scars. The earlier abused children get help, the greater chance they have to heal and break the cycle—rather than perpetuate it. By learning about common signs of abuse and what you can do to intervene, you can make a huge difference in a child’s life.
Facts About Child Abuse
- One in three girls and one in five boys are sexually abused by an adult at some time during childhood. (Most sexual abusers are someone in the family or someone the child knows, not the proverbial stranger with a lollipop.)
- Families with four or more children have higher rates of abuse and neglect, especially if their living conditions are crowded or they live in isolated areas.
- More than 80 percent of abusers are a parent or someone close to a child. Child abuse is far more likely to occur in the child's home than in a day care center.
- One in thirteen kids with a parent on drugs is physically abused regularly. (Drug and alcohol abuse in the family makes child abuse about twice as likely.)
- One out of ten babies born today are born to mothers who are abusing drugs. Drinking and smoking heavily during pregnancy also endangers the health of unborn children.
Signs of Child Abuse
- A child who is apathetic (just doesn't care).
- A child who suffers from depression.
- A child who won't take part in play or school activities.
- A child who is often hostile or aggressive.
- A child with a loss of appetite.
- A child who compulsively overeats
- Any of the signs above.
- A child who is hungry much of the time.
- A child wandering outdoors unsupervised.
- A child unsuitably dressed for the weather.
- A child who is continually dirty or wearing the same soiled clothes.
- A child who shows up early or stays late at school.
- Bruises or welts shaped like an object (belt buckle or electric cord).
- Bruises in unusual places (back, eyes, mouth, buttocks, genital areas, thighs, calves).
- Layers of different colored bruises in the same general area.
- "Sock" or "glove" burns on feet or hands or doughnut shaped burns on buttocks (from forcing the child into hot water).
- Small round burns from cigarettes.
- Burns in the shape of an object (iron, fireplace tool, or heater).
- Rope burns on ankles, wrists, or torso.
- Adult sized bite marks.
- Suspicious fractures (doctors and nurses are trained to recognize these).
- Withdrawal or anti-social attitude.
- Refusal to undress for physical education or sports.
- Exaggerated interest in sex or "acting out" sex with other children.
- Unusually seductive behavior.
- Fear of intimate contact (hugging or sports)
- Torn, stained, or bloodied clothing.
Effects of child abuse and neglect
All types of child abuse and neglect leave lasting scars. Some of these scars might be physical, but emotional scarring has long lasting effects throughout life, damaging a child’s sense of self, ability to have healthy relationships, and ability to function at home, at work and at school. Some effects include:
- Lack of trust and relationship difficulties. If you can’t trust your parents, who can you trust? Abuse by a primary caregiver damages the most fundamental relationship as a child—that you will safely, reliably get your physical and emotional needs met by the person who is responsible for your care. Without this base, it is very difficult to learn to trust people or know who is trustworthy. This can lead to difficulty maintaining relationships due to fear of being controlled or abused. It can also lead to unhealthy relationships because the adult doesn’t know what a good relationship is.
- Core feelings of being “worthless” or “damaged.” If you’ve been told over and over again as a child that you are stupid or no good, it is very difficult to overcome these core feelings. You may experience them as reality. Adults may not strive for more education, or settle for a job that may not pay enough, because they don’t believe they can do it or are worth more. Sexual abuse survivors, with the stigma and shame surrounding the abuse, often especially struggle with a feeling of being damaged.
- Trouble regulating emotions. Abused children cannot express emotions safely. As a result, the emotions get stuffed down, coming out in unexpected ways. Adult survivors of child abuse can struggle with unexplained anxiety, depression, or anger. They may turn to alcohol or drugs to numb out the painful feelings.