Warning signs of child abuse

Be aware of the warning signs of child abuse.

Physical Abuse Warning Signs:

  • Injuries on children where children do not usually get injured (e.g., torso, back, neck, ears, buttocks, or thighs)
  • Withdrawn, fearful or extreme behavior
  • Flinches easily or avoids being touched

Neglect Warning Signs:

  • Frequently fatigued
  • Parentified behaviors (child takes on more of a parental/adult role)
  • Self-destructive feelings or behavior; poor impulse control

Emotional Abuse Warning Signs:

  • Displays self-harming behaviors
  • Shows extremes in behavior such as overly compliant or demanding behavior
  • Habit disorders (sucking, biting, rocking, etc.)

Sexual Abuse Warning Signs:

  • Pain or itching in the genital area
  • Frequent complaints of stomachaches or headaches
  • Inappropriate sex play or premature understanding of sex

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