A safe home means that a child is safe at home, can grow up in a healthy environment and can develop properly. Sometimes this is not possible because the parent is unable to cope with the care, for instance when parents have (psychiatric) problems, debts, an addiction or complex relations with violent fights and if there are other stressors which can lead to child abuse.
Child abuse occurs everywhere. In urban areas, in rural areas (kunuku), in families with all kinds of different cultural backgrounds and in both poor and rich families. It can happen to anybody. However, in families where there are many problems (much stress), child abuse occurs more frequently than in families with few problems.
How do I know whether the situation in my family is unsafe or is becoming unsafe? What are the signs which indicate an unsafe situation?
There are dozens of signs which could indicate an unsafe situation for children. The existence of one or several signs certainly not always necessarily means child abuse. The more signs there are, the more serious the situation could be.
Some behavioural signs which children can display are:
- Aggressive behaviour
- Withdrawal, depressed behaviour
- Concentration problems
- Sexually provocative behaviour
- Fear of (certain) adults
Some signs displayed by parents are:
- Strange explanation for physical injury
- Regular visits with the child to the general practitioner/hospital
- No interest in the child's achievements
- Burden the child with too much responsibility