A recent client hired HouseholdStaffing.com to replace their in home nanny who served them without incident for many years. When they revealed the reason for the new placement, we were shocked! We feel it’s vital to bring awareness to this devastating situation that could happen to anyone. If you suspect your child is experiencing abuse, please seek help immediately.
Imagine the horror – the sick, sinking feeling in the core of your stomach – if you found out that the nanny that you trusted for the last several years had been abusing your children in your absence.
What would you do?
While these types of experiences are rare, they still occur and to be prepared, there are precautions you can take, as well as important signs to look for. Child abuse can include a variety of different actions and behaviors.
Here are some common signs of child abuse:
- Sign #1: Physical injury.
Bumps and bruises are part of the life of a child, but if you have noticed that there are unexplained cuts, bruises or other wounds, take note. Or, if the injuries are explained with farfetched or highly unlikely stories, it may be a sign that your child is trying to cover something else that’s going on.
- Sign #2: Anxiety.
Children that show high levels of anxiety or fear may be being abused, especially when this is combined with marked changes in your children’s behavior. Sometimes, abused children will be afraid to go to bed at night, have recurring nightmares, won’t eat well, or will start acting out in school or wetting the bed. If sexual abuse is happening, children may show excessive sexual behavior or aggression.
- Sign #3: Fear of being with the person.
Chances are, if nanny abuse is happening, your children are probably going to be too afraid to talk about it. If your child is too young to talk about what’s happening, you will need to be even more aware of how he/she reacts when they see the person. Do they show signs of extreme fear when they see the person or do they find excuses to get away from the person? Don’t ignore this, especially if there are other things that have raised red flags.
How do you protect your family?
Sometimes, there are no warning signs and you trust the person working in your home. For this reason, every home that has a nanny needs to have a camera. This will ensure that you will be able to see what’s happening while you’re gone, at all times. Next, be sure that when you first set out on your journey to hiring a nanny, work with a professional agency: this is the first and most crucial step to keeping your family and your children protected. Searching for the right nanny is a personal process and one that requires an individualized approach.
If you, a family member, or a family you know have experienced trauma at the hands of a trusted babysitter or nanny, there is help available. Seek a professional therapist that specializes in child abuse and get into a support group that will allow kids and families the opportunity to express what has happened. You are not alone, and neither is your child: support is the first step to healing.
National Child Abuse Hotline
Prevent Child Abuse America
Stand For Children
About The Author
A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Brooke Strickland is a full time freelance writer, editor, and social media specialist. She currently writes blogs on a variety of topics and manages social media pages for at least a dozen local and national companies. In 2013, she co-authored her first book entitled Hooked on Games, a book about video game and technology addiction.
Contact her at: http://brookestrickland.org/contact/