Child Abuse Signs

Author Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Child abuse is more than bruises and broken bones. While physical abuse might be the most visible, other types of abuse, such as emotional abuse and neglect, also leave deep, lasting scars on kids. The earlier abused children get help, the greater chance they have to heal and break the cycle—rather than perpetuate it. By learning about common signs of abuse and what you can do to intervene, you can make a huge difference in a child’s life.

Child abuse isn’t just about black eyes. While physical abuse is shocking due to the marks it leaves, not all child abuse is as obvious. Ignoring children’s needs, putting them in unsupervised, dangerous situations, exposing them to sexual situations, or making them feel worthless or stupid are also forms of child abuse and neglect. Regardless of the type of abuse, the result is serious emotional harm. But there is help available. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, it’s important to speak out. By catching the problem as early as possible, both the child and the abuser can get the help they need. To start, it’s important to separate the myths from the facts about child abuse and neglect:

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