What is Abuse?
Abuse is mental, emotional, physical, or sexual injury to a child, or failure to prevent such injury.
What is Neglect?
Neglect of a child includes (1) failure to provide a child with food, clothing, shelter and/or medical care; and/or (2) leaving a child in a situation where the child is at risk of harm.
when a parent or caregiver causes any non-accidental physical injury to a child.
Signs of Physical Abuse
- Visible and Severe Injuries
- Distinctive Shape
- Bruises, Burns or Scalds, Bite Marks, Scarring, Fractures or Broken Bones
- Frequency, timing, and history of injuries (frequent, after weekends, vacations, school absences)
- Aggression toward peers, pets, other animals
- Seems Afraid of Parents or Other Adults
- Fear, Withdrawal, Depression, Anxiety, Nightmares, Insomnia
- Immaturity, Acting out, Emotional and Behavior Extremes
- Self-destructive Behavior or Attitudes
occurs when an adult uses a child for sexual purposes or involves a child in sexual acts. It also includes when a child who is older or more powerful uses another child for sexual gratification or excitement.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
- Difficulty sitting, walking, bowel problems
- Torn, stained, bloody undergarments
- Bleeding, bruises, pain, swelling, itching of genital area
- Any sexually transmitted disease or related symptoms
- Withdrawn, Depressed, Anxious, Aggression
- Eating disorders, Preoccupation with body
- Poor Peer Relationships, Poor Self-Image, Poor Self-Care, Lack of Confidence
- Sexual Acting Out, Excessive Masturbation, Sexual Behavior or Knowledge that is Advanced or Unusual
- Reports Sexual Abuse
a parent or caregiver harms a child’s mental and social development, or causes severe emotional harm. While a single incident may be abuse, most often emotional abuse is a pattern of behavior that causes damage over time.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
- Developmental Delays
- Wetting Bed, Pants
- Speech Disorders
- Health Problems (Ulcers, Skin Disorders, Obesity and Weight Fluctuation)
- Overly Compliant or Defensive
- Extremely Emotional, Aggressive, Withdrawn, Anxieties, Phobias, Sleep Disorders
- Destructive or Anti-Social Behaviors (violence, cruelty, vandalism, stealing, cheating, lying)
- Inappropriate Behavior for Age (Too Adult, Too Infantile)
- Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors
when a parent or caregiver does not give the care, supervision, affection and support needed for a child’s health, safety and well-being.
Signs of Neglect
- Often Hungry, Stockpiles or Seeks Food
- May Show Signs of Malnutrition
- Very Low Body Weight/Height for Age
- Often Tired, Sleepy, Listless
- Hygiene Problems, Body Odor
- Untreated Medical and Dental Problems