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Warning Signs of Abuse in Children - By Dr. Kelli Palfy

Although there aren’t any tell-tale signs a child is being abused, young children may try to tell adults about abuse in the only ways they know how: by acting out behaviourally!

 If you see one or more of these as persistent signs in a child you know… PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION!

  • Fear of going to bed – some children may fear falling asleep because they are having nightmares about being abused.
  • Falling asleep in class – perhaps they don’t feel safe sleeping at night or at home
  • Re-established bed wetting or a regression in other previously attained developmental milestones
  • Wearing the same clothes or seasonally inappropriate clothes (long sleeves or sunglasses may be used to cover bruises) or other odd behaviours.
  • The class clown - disrupting class may be a means to distract from traumatic memories & learning difficulties that arise because of trauma responses
  • Children with low self-esteem and those who are isolating themselves
  • The odd child that can’t relate to other children - traumatized children act in ways that only make sense when you understand trauma
  •  Children bullying or picking on other kids (victims are often angry)
  • Children being bullied by others often feel they deserve to be treated poorly, lack boundaries and don't know how to stand up for themselves
  •  Children experimenting sexually (re-enacting what’s been done to them)
  •  Developing a newly established fear of someone or a strong dislike of someone
  • They may make comments like:  “I don’t like the games they make me play” ;   “I don’t want to go to daycare" or " Can’t you stay home with me?”
  • Urinary tract infections or anal tearing
  • Changes from previously enjoyed behaviours (they used to like daycare but are now afraid to go, etc.)

 

 

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Dr. Kelli Palfy

Kelli Palfy

Dr. Kelli Palfy

Dr. Kelli Palfy
Other posts by Dr. Kelli Palfy

I medically retired from the RCMP with just over 13 years of field experience in 2009 (Reg #45004, HQ 1112) and began the journey of pursuing my doctorate degree. I am now a registered psychologist, running a private practice in Edmonton, AB. I have a strong interest in working with trauma related issues, specifically adult male survivors of sexual abuse.

I have a considerable amount of life experience and exposure, both personal and professional, which I drew upon to write my first book, Men Too: Unspoken Truths About Male Sexual Abuse (an educational, heart-wrenching look at 13 male sexual abuse victims experiences).

Full biography

Full biography

I am a registered psychologist, running a private practice in Edmonton, AB. I offer counselling services to adults (individuals, couples and groups) struggling with issues associated to childhood abuse/neglect, life transitions, harassment in the workplace, chronic illness, anxiety and depression. I completed my doctoral internship at the Cross Cancer Institute where I worked with adults struggling with cancer diagnosis, grief, loss, issues of faith and other major life transitions. I have a strong interest in working with trauma related issues, specifically adult male survivors of sexual abuse; as well as issues associated to grief, loss and bullying and harassment in the workplace.

In 2007 I began pursuing my MA, initially to further my career as a police woman, but God had other plans for me! In 2009, I medically retired from the RCMP with just over 13 years of field experience (Reg #45004, HQ 1112) and began the journey of pursuing my doctorate degree. I have a considerable amount of life experience and exposure, both personal and professional, from which to draw upon during my work with you. What was once my misery is now my ministry. I have used this experience and training to write my first book, Men Too: Unspoken Truths About Male Sexual Abuse in an effort to changing the way people think about male sexual abuse.

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Melissa Brown

Willful Blindness

Academic research discusses how neural networks in the human brain are hard-wired to reject information that will make us less certain and keep peace when faced with conflict.  But what if instincts about Child abuse are...

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