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Recognizing Abused Children

Sam was missing again. The cheerful boy Betty taught in Sunday school and led in scouting had missed several Sundays lately. She thought about Sam's behavior in the last few children's activities he attended. Normally the 10 year old was active and excited, but Sam had begun to withdraw and grow quiet.

Betty decided to visit Sam's home, just to let the family know that Sam had been missed. When Sam's father answered the door, he was curt, defensive, and refused to open the door more than a crack. Betty could look in just enough to see Sam's frightened eyes peering at her from around the corner.

Betty didn't know whether Sam was being abused. She only saw things that concerned her and cared enough to look into it. She called me, the abuse advisor for my denomination. We discussed Sam's situation and decided it was best that she contact the authorities.

What should concern me?

There is no perfect profile for identifying a sexually abused child. Some become withdrawn, while others act out aggressively. ...

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