Signs of Abuse
The Centers for Disease Control define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child. There are different kinds of child abuse: physical, sexual, or emotional. Neglect, which can be benign or deliberate, is also child abuse.
If you believe a child is the victim of abuse, check your suspicions against these compiled lists of common indicators. One or more of these indicators should prompt a closer look at the child and the child’s environment. It is important to remember that many of the indicators may be observed in children where abuse is not occurring. However, a history of suspicious injuries, patterns of behavior, and verbal reports of abuse are all key elements in recognizing possible abuse or neglect.