How do I know if a child is being abused? Just because a child has bruises does not mean that he or she is abused. The most important thing is to look for is a pattern of abuse. Here are some of the signs to look for:
- Injuries to eyes or both sides of the head or body. Accidental injuries typically only affect one side of the body.
- Frequently appearing injuries such as bruises, cuts or burns. These may appear as grab marks, human bite marks, cigarette burns
- Destructive, aggressive or disruptive behavior
- Fear of going home
- Symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases
- Injury to genital area
- Difficulty or pain when sitting or walking
- Sexually suggestive, inappropriate behavior or verbalization
- Sexual victimization of other children.
- Obvious malnourishment, listlessness or fatigue
- Stealing or begging for food
- Poor personal hygiene, torn and/or dirty clothes
- Need for glasses, dental care or other medical attention
- Frequent absence from or tardiness to school
- Child inappropriately left unattended or without supervision