How to Identify Child Abuse and Neglect

How to Identify Child Abuse and Neglect

Abuse and neglect rarely occur in one isolated incident. Usually a pattern of abusive or neglectful behavior can be observed over time. A child may not tell anyone that abuse or neglect is occurring. Children may "act out" to express their hurt and anger. Some children display no negative signs. It is important to listen carefully to children who tell you about an act of abuse, even if they say that the abuse happened a long time ago or happened to a friend.

If you observe the signs listed below, this does not necessarily mean that a child is being abused. You should, however, pay close attention to the child and see if a pattern of signs emerges.