Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines child abuse and neglect as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver (e.g. clergy, coach, teacher) that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child. Abuse comes in many different forms such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. It happens more often than you think. Five children die every day as a result of abuse and neglect.
The following warning signs are commonly associated with abuse and neglect. These signs by themselves may not be conclusive evidence that a child is being abused or neglected, but serve as a guide to help identify abuse and neglect when it is present.
Child Neglect is the willful or non-willful failure to provide for a child’s basic needs such as adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, or proper supervision that impares or risks impairement of a child’s health or well-being.
Child Sexual Abuse
Child Sexual Abuse refers to any sexual act with a child by an adult or another child of any age. It includes, but is not limited to, forcing or encouraging a child to engage in sexual activity, fondling or rubbing the child’s genitals, penetration, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, voyeurism, and using the child for prostitution or for the production of pornographic materials.
Child Physical Abuse
Child Physical Abuse is intentional injury inflicted upon a child or the use of force resulting in bodily injury, pain or impairment, brain trauma or even death. It may include, but is not limited to, severe shaking, beating, slapping, punching, kicking, burning, or improper physical restraint.
Child Emotional Abuse
Child Emotional Abuse is the willful infliction of mental or emotional anguish on a child by threat, humiliation, intimidation or other abusive conduct. This may also occur when a parent fails to provide the understanding, warmth, attention, and supervision the child needs for healthy psychological growth. Emotional abuse may include, but is not limited to, frightening, isolating, belittling, insulting, rejecting, or constant criticism of a child with no evidence of love, support, or guidance.