Warning Signs of Abuse

FRC is spreading the word across the community about the five most common types of abuse and the signs to look for. If you suspect abuse, call the Florida Abuse Hotline: 1-800-96-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.