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Recognize Signs of Abuse
There are four different kinds of child abuse: physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect. There are different types of child abuse along with indicators to help you recognize the signs of abuse if have concerns about a child. By learning to recognize the signs, you can make a huge difference in a child’s life.
The signs and indicators of neglect may include but are not limited to:
Consistently has poor hygiene
Frequently left alone, unsupervised
Often late or absent from school
Doesn’t wear proper clothing for weather
Pale, listless, unkempt
Frequently forgets a lunch
The signs and indicators of physical abuse may include but are not limited to:
Bruises, Welts, Cuts, Fractures, Burns, Internal injuries
Can’t recall how injuries occurred or offers an inconsistent explanation
Wary of adults
May cringe or flinch if touched unexpectedly
Infants may display a vacant stare
Extremely aggressive or extremely withdrawn
Indiscriminately seeks affection
Extremely compliant and/or eager to please
Extreme withdrawal or aggressiveness
Overly compliant, too well mannered, too neat or clean
Extreme attention seeking
Displays extreme inhibition in play
Bed wetting that is non-medical in origin
Frequent psychosomatic complaints, headaches, nausea, abdominal pains
Child fails to thrive
The Criminal Code of Canada identifies a number of types of sexual abuse, including:
An invitation to sexually touch
Sexual exploitation of a young person
Parent or guardian procuring sexual activity from a child
Householder permitting sexual activity
Exposing genitals to a child
Age inappropriate play with toys, self or others displaying explicit sexual acts
Age inappropriate sexually explicit drawing and/or descriptions
Bizarre, sophisticated or unusual sexual knowledge
Seductive behaviours: Displaying sexual knowledge beyond their years
Unusual or excessive itching in the genital or anal area
Child has trouble walking or sitting
Torn, stained or bloody underwear (may be observed if the child needs bathroom assistance)
Injuries to the genital or anal areas, e.g. bruising, swelling or infection
Frequently forgets a lunch
Duty to Report: How to help an abused or neglected child
Keeping our children safe is the responsibility of everyone. If you have ANY reason to believe a child is in need of protection or is at risk, please contact Dilico immediately. Dilico has emergency services available 24 hours a day, so you can call anytime.
It’s so important we do everything we can to recognize, respond and prevent abuse.
Remember, it’s your duty. Every person who suspects that a child is being abused, must report it. It is NOT necessary to be certain. That decision will be left to the team of child welfare professionals.