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Domestic Violence and
Child Abuse

How can I recognize child abuse or neglect? (previous/next)

    Just as in the case of domestic violence, there are certain actions which would be identified as abusive or neglectful, or signs that would indicate that a child, maybe your child, has been abused or neglected.

  1. Is the child consistently dirty or wearing dirty clothes?

  2. Is the child dressed inappropriately for the weather, particularly on a cold day?

  3. Is the child hungry most of the time?

  4. Does the child have cuts or bruises in various stages of healing, particularly on the face, arms, hands, legs, back or buttocks?

  5. Does the child have welts or bruises that form a pattern, such as from a belt, rope or electrical cord?

  6. Does the child have burn injuries, particularly small and round as if from a cigarette?

  7. Is the child afraid of adults?

  8. Is the child extremely aggressive or withdrawn?

  9. Is the child afraid to go home?

  10. Does the child talk about things that are inappropriate for the child’s age, particularly sexual subjects or activities?

  11. Does the child flirt or act in ways that are sexually suggestive?

  12. Does the child appear to be regularly unsupervised for long periods of time?

  13. Does the child always appear to hang around school, arriving early and staying late for no apparent reason?

  14. Is the child always sleepy?

  15. Does the child ever report that someone is doing or saying things that make the child feel bad, guilty, ashamed, embarrassed?

  16. Does the child talk about suicide or hint that he wished he weren’t here?

    Unfortunately, there are many other signs that a child has been or is being abused or neglected. If you have any doubts, talk to someone you trust, particularly one of the required reporters listed above. If these questions describe your child, it is critical that you call someone now before your child is hurt worse and this becomes a matter for law enforcement.

What is domestic violence? | Who uses violence in relationships?
 How can I recognize domestic violence?
How can I stop domestic violence? | Domestic violence resources
What is child abuse? | What is neglect? | Who is required to report child abuse or neglect?
How can I recognize child abuse or neglect? | Child abuse and neglect resources
Effects of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect on children

Glenna O. Auxier


Robert J. Perchalski, Ph.D.
Curriculum Coordinator

Contact us by email at for.parents@juno.com
Copyright 2003, 2007 Positive Divorce Resolution, Inc.
Last edited June 1, 2013 by Robert J. Perchalski, Ph.D.