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Signs of Child Abuse

Signs of abuse can be present in some but not all cases. Every child is different and may not show any signs or symptoms. Signs and symptoms depend on the type of abuse and they can vary. Remember that warning signs are just that -- warning signs. Just because they are there, doesn't necessarily mean that the child is being abused. 

Emotional Signs of Abuse

  • Changes in behavior. 

  • Unusual fear of certain people or places; reluctance to be alone with a certain person

  • Changes in eating habits

  • Sleep disturbances,

  • Changes in school performance and attendance

  • Lack of personal care or hygiene

  • Risk-taking behaviors

  • Inappropriate sexual behaviors or knowledge of sexual language and behaviors

  • Unexplained injuries

  • Regression to previous behaviors, such as bedwetting

  • Overly compliant behaviors

Physical Signs of Abuse

  • Persistent or recurring pain during urination or bowel movements

  • Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training

  • Pain, discoloration, bleeding, or discharges in the genitals

  • Sexually transmitted diseases 

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