Physical Abuse is different from discipline.
Discipline is administered by a parent in order to teach a child right from wrong, or to prevent the child from injuring himself. It is consistent and not carried out to satisfy the parent’s anger. Abuse, on the other hand, is unpredictable and stems from the parent’s own need to lash out in anger or frustration.
Discipline does not require the use of any implement, such as a belt or stick, and should not leave bruises or draw blood.
- Unexplained bruises or welts especially on face, lips, back, buttocks, and thighs, and bruises in various stages of healing.
- Unexplained burns: cigar, cigarette burns (especially on soles of feet, palms, back, or buttocks).
- Immersion burns (sock-like, glove-like burns on buttocks or genitalia).
- Pattern burns (shaped like an iron, electrical stove burner, curling wand, etc.)
- Internal injuries.
- Unexplained fractures/dislocations.
- Unexplained lacerations or abrasions.
- Head injuries.
- Unexplained bald patches.
- Obvious attempts to hide bruises or injuries.
- Inappropriate clothing for the weather.
- Excessive school absenteeism.
- Fear of parents or adults.
- Running away.
- Arriving to school early/leaving late.
- Behavioral extremes (extremely aggressive, oppositional, demanding, OR overly compliant, passive, withdrawn).
- Academic/behavioral problems at school.
- Cognitive impairment.
- Deficits in speech and language.
- Lack of basic trust in others.
- Depression, low self esteem.
- Destructive behavior.
- Suicidal tendencies.