Signs Of Child Abuse

One of the first ways you can help a child who have been abused and neglected is to recognize the signs of child abuse. The presence of one of the signs on the list does not immediately indicate that the child is in an abusive situation. However, if signs are noticed repeatedly or in combination with several others, this could warrant investigating the child’s environment further to check for child abuse. If you suspect that a child is being abused, do not wait to get help. Doing so may protect the child as soon as possible and could also help the family involved in the situation.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services offers the following list of possible signs of child abuse and neglect:

The Child:

  • Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance
  • Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents’ attention
  • Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes
  • Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen
  • Lacks adult supervision
  • Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn
  • Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home

The Parent:

  • Shows little concern for the child
  • Denies the existence of—or blames the child for—the child’s problems in school or at home
  • Asks teachers or other caregivers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves
  • Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome
  • Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve
  • Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs

The Parent and Child:

  • Rarely touch or look at each other
  • Consider their relationship entirely negative
  • State that they do not like each other

Get Help Now

It is up to us to protect our children from abuse and neglect. Anyone can report suspicions of child abuse and neglect. Some professionals are even required by law to report possible abuse cases. If you believe a child you know has been abused, molested, neglected or otherwise maltreated, please report it today. For more information on reporting child abuse: Call the Texas Abuse and Neglect Hotline 24/7 at (800) 252-5400 or visit

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