Warning Signs of Abuse
Physical Abuse: Child has unexplained burns, bites, bruises, welts or swelling, sprains or fractures, lacerations, abrasions or black eyes.
Sexual Abuse: Child has difficulty walking or sitting; demonstrates bizarre, sophisticated, or unusual sexual knowledge or behavior; experiences nightmares, bedwetting or sudden change in appetite, bowel habits or urinary habits; experiences social withdrawal, anxiety or depression; and/or becomes pregnant or contracts a venereal disease, particularly if under age 14.
Physical Neglect: Child is consistently dirty and has severe body odor; lacks sufficient clothing for the weather; begs or steals food or money; is frequently absent from school; and/or states that there is no one at home to provide care.
Medical Neglect: Child has unattended medical or dental needs; lacks immunizations, or glasses; has an untreated psychological illness, has developmental delays; and/or is not receiving necessary medication for a chronic disease that can cause disability, disfigurement or death.
Emotional Abuse: Child appears either overly compliant and passive or very demanding and aggressive; is inappropriately adult (parenting other children, for example) or inappropriately infantile (frequently rocking or head-banging, for example); and/or has low self-esteem, speech disorders, startles easily, depression or has attempted suicide. Parent constantly blames, belittles, or berates the child, is cold and rejecting, withholds love, treats siblings unequally, and/or is unconcerned about the child’s problems.