physical abuse

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This section is for Adults helping your own child who has been abused (including parents, grandparents and other relatives). Every person seeking help from Justice for Children MUST complete the Intake Form to the right (yellow button). If the child in need is not related to you, we may still be able to help.

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.

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. A few signs of abuse could be:

  • Unexplained bruises or welts especially on face, lips, back, buttocks, and thighs
  • 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
  • Behavioral extremes: 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
  • Fatigue Hypervigilance

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Start the process of getting help, or getting help for a child in need, now.

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Justice for Children provides guidance through the legal and judicial processes, assists in court watch, and advocates on behalf of children to law enforcement and other governmental agencies. JFC connects individuals with legal resources including pro bono attorneys and helps with protective orders. Justice for Children JFC is also involved in a variety of legal research projects and has contributed to amicus briefs, researching legal issues and providing data on important legal issues affecting the rights of abused children.

Justice for Children assists and refers several thousand callers annually through the complicated and unsympathetic maze of governmental agencies established to protect abused children. Advocating for an abused or neglected child takes on many different forms of participation and involvement. These include researching and gathering supporting documentation; reviewing supporting documentation; referring persons to professionals; guiding them through the legal and judicial process; providing legal assistance with protective orders; initiating child abuse investigations; serving as a liaison to law enforcement and other governmental agencies; generating advocacy correspondence and amicus briefs; acting as facilitator of professional services; court watch; and providing pro bono legal representation and connecting persons with attorneys.

Justice for Children has proposed and drafted legislation to improve the laws pertaining not only to child abuse and child protection, but also laws concerning the funding for protective services. We have also presented legislation designed to make the legal process more child-friendly. Additionally, because of its experience in this area, Justice for Children receives numerous requests to provide testimony regarding various pieces of legislation around the country.

Justice for Children has traditionally provided information and materials to combat child abuse and to educate the public of the signs and symptoms of child abuse or neglect in its efforts to interrupt its dismal cycle. In 2012, it is initiating a project called “Just in Time”, to develop a series of informational and instructional modules to be placed on its website. Each is designed specifically to aid a field on the front lines of identifying and re-mediating child abuse: the community, medical first responders, school personnel, pediatricians, court personnel, and counseling professionals.

We seek to collaborate with other concerned national and community leaders, professionals, institutions, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies to further a common goal of solving the deficiencies in our present child protective systems. By expanding our relationships within the community and on a national level, we are working to create a system that will effectively handle a child’s initial report of abuse, provide immediate safety, and ultimately, prosecute and convict the child abuser.

Justice for Children’s expert opinion continues to be recognized and valued by local and national media, legal and medical professionals, child abuse experts, and various other children’s rights organizations. We have been featured on ABC’s Primetime Live, ABC’s prime-time documentary entitled ‘Crimes Against Children,’ a PBS documentary entitled ‘Boy Crying, Baby Crying,” as well as appearances on Good Morning America, Donahue, the Discovery channel’s “Justice Files,’ HBO and in 2011, the BBC.