How to Recognize Child Abuse

While many people are aware that child abuse is a horrific act, no matter what its type, many are afraid to report the incident. There are some that believe that they may be overstepping their bounds and reading too far into something. However, reporting child abuse, whether it leads to an arrest or simply alerts officials to further investigation, could very well save a life. If you have a suspicion that a child is being abused, consider the following signs:

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Signs of Physical Abuse

Signs of Sexual Abuse


According to the United States Department of Health & Human Services, neglect is largely defined as the failure to “provide child’s basic needs.”   This not only includes food and water, but also shelter, medical care, proper vision, and basic medical care. General signs of neglect are:

If you suspect that a child that has possibly been abused the first step is to remain calm, and let the child know that there is an open line of communication between yourself and them. You essentially want the child to feel safe and secure in your role as an ally. Once you have gathered the necessary information, contact your local child protective agency, in Texas, that is Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

In addition, you may also get in touch with a victim’s advocacy group such as Safe Horizons, or a local agency.

Once you are in contact, relay as much information as you possibly can including dates, times, locations, your role in the child’s life, and so forth.


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