Ten Signs of Child Abuse

Ten Signs of Child Abuse

1. Unexplained injuries. Visible signs of physical abuse may include unexplained burns or bruises in the shape of objects. You may also hear unconvincing explanations of a child’s injuries.

2. Changes in behavior. Abuse can lead to many changes in a child’s behavior. Abused children often appear scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or overly aggressive.

3. Age-inappropriate behaviors. Abused children may display age-inappropriate behaviors, e.g., for older children: thumb-sucking, bed-wetting or fear of the dark.

4. Fear of going home. Abused children may express apprehension or anxiety about leaving school or about going places with the person who is abusing them.

5. Changes in eating. The stress, fear and anxiety caused by abuse can lead to changes in a child’s eating behaviors, which may result in weight gain or weight loss.

6. Changes in sleeping. Abused children may have frequent nightmares or may appear tired or fatigued.

7. Changes in school performance and attendance.
Abused children may have difficulty concentrating and have excessive absences, sometimes due to adults trying to hide the children’s injuries from authorities.

8. Lack of personal care or hygiene. Abused and neglected children may appear uncared for and may be wearing unsuitable clothing for the weather.

9. Risk-taking behaviors. Young people who are being abused may engage in illegal activities such as using drugs or alcohol or carrying a weapon.

10. Inappropriate sexual behaviors. Children who have been sexually abused may exhibit overly sexualized behavior or use explicit sexual language.

Some signs that a child is experiencing violence or abuse are more obvious than others. Trust your instincts. Suspected abuse is enough of a reason to contact the authorities. You do not need proof.

IF YOU SUSPECT A CHILD has been abused…


• Keep calm.
• Believe the child.
• Show interest and concern.
• Take action. It can save a child’s life.


• Panic or overreact.
• Pressure the child.
• Confront the offender.
• Blame the child.
• Overwhelm the child with questions.

If you suspect a child is in danger, call 911 or check with United Way for child advocacy and child protective services and call immediately.

The above information came from Safe Horizon


3 responses to “Ten Signs of Child Abuse

  1. I’m sorry, but.. ” Suspected abuse is enough of a reason to contact the authorities. You do not need proof “.
    Sentences like that are what start public hysteria regarding child molestation and violence causing so called Pedohunts.
    Don’t get me wrong i’m as against and sickened by child sexual and physical abuse as the next guy, but i’m also against witch hunts. Especially when they are wrongly forced upon innocent people.
    The so called Pedohunts even when aimed at real offenders to me is still wrong for the reason it is all about how each of the hunters feels. It is never really about the child.
    If offenders against children sexually or physically should be outed and named then why not drug dealers who deal to children, drunk drivers who run down children and all the many unjust and tragic ways the lives of children can be ruined.
    If society hadn’t lost all moral and civic values and excepted some responsibility for the loss of standards that has come over them we might live in a society where there is no need to fear for our children’s safety..

    • I don’t know what to say here. Children can’t protect themselves against family abuses of any kind, nor against drug pushers, hit and run cars or whatever. We as a society need to help protect them and punish the offenders. We also have to trust our authorities to use discretion in handling complaints about suspected abusers and not cause public hysteria (though there are widely publicized such cases, it is usually not the authorities but the gossip mongers that do that. You imply that society doesn’t punish drug dealers and hit and run drivers when they are found out. I just don’t understand the logic of your post, but thank you for the comment. It is welcome.

  2. I read the book “The Child Called It” and tahst way past child abuse, thats just pure bogus.

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