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Recognizing Child Abuse and Neglect

Physical Abuse:
Infliction of physical injury or allowing another to do so.

Physical Indicators: Behavioral Indicators:
Unexplained bruises
Unexplained welts
Unexplained burns
Unexplained lumps
Unexplained bumps
Unexplained fractures
Unexplained lacerations or abrasions
Hemorrhages
Burns by cigarettes
Burns by immersion
Dental/oral injuries
Verbally reports abuse
Too eager to please
Depression
Low self-esteem
Behavioral extremes
Role reversal
Developmental lags
Appears frightened of caretaker
Apprehensive children cry
Exaggerated startle response
School absenteeism


Behavioral Indicators of Caretaker:
Harsh disciplinarian, describes child in a consistently negative manner, defensive, conceals or misleads about child's injuries, substance abuser.

If you suspect a child is suffering from physical abuse, report it to
Child Protective Services.



Neglect:
Chronic failure to meet basic needs of a child for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education or supervision.

Physical Indicators: Behavioral Indicators:
Flat, bald spots on infant's head
Dirty, smelly, torn, dirty or
inappropriate clothing for the weather
Developmental lags
Underweight
Listless
Begging/stealing food
Constant fatigue
Alcohol or drug use
Reports being left alone


Behavioral Indicators of Caretaker:
Substance abuser, chaotic life style, apathetic, expects too much of child.

For information on a specific form of medical neglect, click here.

If you suspect a child is suffering from emotional maltreatment, report it to
Child Protective Services.



Sexual Abuse:
Utilization of a child for sexual gratification by an adult or older child in a position of power, or permitting another person to do so. If you suspect a child is suffering from sexual abuse, report it to Child Protective Services.

Physical Indicators: Behavioral Indicators:
Any venereal disease
Bruised/dilated genitals or rectum
Pregnancy under 16 years of age
Difficulty/pain in walking or sitting
Foreign matter in bladder, rectum
or urethra
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Torn, stained or bloody underclothing
Recurrent urinary tract infections
Aggressive, overt sexual behavior
Drawing pictures of people with
genitals or vagina
Cruelty to animals without
physiological basis
Pre-mature knowledge of explicit
sexual acts
Sleep disorders
Taking frequent baths
Starting fires
Self-inflicted injuries
Expresses fear of a particular
person or place
Reports sexual abuse


Behavioral Indicators of Caretaker:
Extremely protective of family privacy, does not allow child to be involved in extra-curricular activities, does not want child to engage in developmentally appropriate activities i.e. dating, encourages child into prostitution, substance abuser.

For information on sexual abuse, click here.

If you suspect a child is suffering from sexual abuse, report it to
Child Protective Services.



Emotional Maltreatment:

Emotional Neglect - Chronic failure by the caretaker to provide support and affection necessary to develop a sound and healthy personality.

Emotional Abuse - Chronic attitude or acts of a caretaker which are detrimental to the child's development of a sound and healthy personality.

Behavioral Indicators:
Behavioral Indicators
Low self esteem
Difficulty forming positive relationships
Eating disorders
Elimination problems
Speech disorders
Inability to trust
Sleep problems
Sadistic, masochistic
Apathetic
Suicidal
Withdrawal
Anxiety, fear
Developmental lags
Reports emotional maltreatment


Behavioral Indicators of Caretaker:
Rejecting, ignoring, terrorizing, isolating, corrupting.

For information on a specific form of emotional maltreatment, click here.

If you suspect a child is suffering from sexual abuse, report it to
Child Protective Services.

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