Awareness --> Abuse
Signs of Abuse
(Thank you to the Child
Welfare Information Gateway)
Shows sudden changes
in behavior or school performance.
Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the
Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed
to specific physical or psychological causes.
Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen.
Lacks adult supervision.
Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn.
Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not
want to go home.
Shows little concern
for the child.
Denies the existence of—or blames the child for—the child's
problems in school or at home.
Asks teachers or other caretakers to use harsh physical discipline if
the child misbehaves.
Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome.
Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot
Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of
The Parent and Child:
Rarely touch or look
at each other.
Consider their relationship entirely negative.
State that they do not like each other.
the possibility of physical abuse when the child:
Has unexplained burns,
bites, bruises, broken bones, or black eyes.
Has fading bruises or other marks noticeable after an absence from school.
Seems frightened of the parents and protests or cries when it is time
to go home.
Shrinks at the approach of adults.
Reports injury by a parent or another adult caregiver.
Consider the possibility of physical abuse when the parent
or other adult caregiver:
unconvincing, or no explanation for the child's injury.
Describes the child as "evil," or in some other very negative
Uses harsh physical discipline with the child.
Has a history of abuse as a child.
the possibility of neglect when the child:
Is frequently absent
Begs or steals food or money.
Lacks needed medical or dental care, immunizations, or glasses.
Is consistently dirty and has severe body odor.
Lacks sufficient clothing for the weather.
Abuses alcohol or other drugs.
States that there is no one at home to provide care.
Consider the possibility of neglect when the parent or other
Appears to be indifferent
to the child.
Seems apathetic or depressed.
Behaves irrationally or in a bizarre manner.
Is abusing alcohol or other drugs.
the possibility of sexual abuse when the child:
Has difficulty walking
Suddenly refuses to change for gym or to participate in physical activities.
Reports nightmares or bed wetting.
Experiences a sudden change in appetite.
Demonstrates bizarre, sophisticated, or unusual sexual knowledge or
Becomes pregnant or contracts a venereal disease, particularly if under
Reports sexual abuse by a parent or another adult caregiver.
Consider the possibility of sexual abuse when the parent
or other adult caregiver:
Is unduly protective
of the child or severely limits the child's contact with other children,
especially of the opposite sex.
Is secretive and isolated.
Is jealous or controlling with family members.
the possibility of emotional maltreatment when the child:
Shows extremes in
behavior, such as overly compliant or demanding behavior, extreme passivity,
Is either inappropriately adult (parenting other children, for example)
or inappropriately infantile (frequently rocking or head-banging, for
Is delayed in physical or emotional development.
Has attempted suicide.
Reports a lack of attachment to the parent.
Consider the possibility of emotional maltreatment when the parent or
other adult caregiver:
belittles, or berates the child.
Is unconcerned about the child and refuses to consider offers of help
for the child's problems.
Overtly rejects the child.
Is...? (Abuses Defined)
How To Help
Prevent Further Abuse
Where To Find