Here Is How You Can Know If Your Child Is Being Abused

Signs of child abuse and what to do about it

Written by Happiness Hassan

Happiness Hassan is an eloquent writer and an avid reader. She is obsessed with her faith and loves assisting women to become a better version of themselves. Her progress in life is a direct impact of her parent's endless support. That's why she is keen on self-development, parenting, and family niche. She realizes how a healthy relationship between parents and their kids can make our world a better place. In her spare time, she listens to motivational audios. In addition, she enjoys decorating, dancing, singing, and crossword puzzles.

June 30, 2021

Children who are victims of abuse struggle to cope in life mentally, emotionally, physically, and intellectually. Oftentimes, they have to live with the scars forever. Therefore, due to the increasing rate of child abuse and the stigmas attached, parents, guidance, and teachers must learn about the signs of child abuse. The knowledge of these signs guides you to give proper attention to a child exhibiting such signs.

However, child abuse applies to all gender, although more on the female child compared to the male. Therefore, child abuse is any act or behaviour that can harm a child physically, emotionally, and psychologically oftentimes, done by someone the child knows and trusts, like a parent, caregivers, or family relatives. In other words, there are various types of child abuse.

Types Of Child Abuse

1. Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is an action or behaviour that harms a child physically, involving bodily contact. This includes, blows, hits, tie, throw, burns, push, flog and slap.

Oftentimes, parents abuse their children physically by using violent methods of disciplining a child. Also, bullying at school is a form of physical abuse. However, the signs of a child being abused physically are easily detected.

Signs Of Physical Abuse

Physical injuries; Bruises or burns

Avoiding physical contact

Several strips of marks on the body

High alertness

Frightened by the presence of specific individuals

Refusal to change clothing in the presence of anyone

Inappropriate dressing or wearing clothes that don’t match the weather, just to cover the injuries.

Crying when it’s time to go to a certain location.

2. Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse doesn’t involve bodily contact, although it has some bodily effects. Therefore, actions or behaviour that destroy a child’s self-esteem, inner feelings, and well-being are termed emotional abuse. For instance criticizing a child, hindering social interactions, public embarrassment, and insultive languages decrease a child’s emotional well-being.

In addition, yelling, or showing less affection to a child can be considered emotional abuse.

Signs Of Emotional Abuse

Emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Withdrawal from friends

Poor academic performance

Slow intellectual and emotional development

Low self-esteem

Speech problems

Nonchalant behaviour.

3. Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is the act of engaging in sexual activities with a child or encouraging inappropriate sexual behaviour in a child. In other words, if the activity arouses the other person, even if the child is ignorant of this, it is deemed sexual abuse.

This comprises but not limited to fondling, masturbation, kissing, sexual intercourse, telling jokes, forcing a child to undress, showing a child pornography or genitals. For m ore on this, you can check out how you can protect your kids from pedophiles.

Signs Of Sexual Abuse

Torn underwears

Bruises or injuries around genitals

Blood in child’s underwear.

Attempted suicide

Avoiding certain persons

Difficulty in sitting or walking

Running away from home

Pregnancy or tested positive for sexually transmitted infections.

Having sexual contact with other kids

Poor physical coordination

4. Neglect Abuse

Neglect abuse is any act that deprives a child of his/her basic needs. When you abandon your child for a long time is also a form of neglect. Other forms are lack of access to clothing, food, and medical care.

In addition, hawking, hard labour, and locking up a child indoors can all be considered as forms of neglect.

Signs of Neglect Abuse

Dirty appearance

The use of hard drugs and alcohol

Absence from school


Always looking sick

complains that nobody looks after them

Juvenile delinquency

Poor academic performance

Poor mental coordination

How To Help An Abused Victim

Having learned about the common signs of child abuse it best you know what action to take if you come across a victim.

1. Encourage The Child To Speak

The moment you discover the signs of child abuse in a child’s life, don’t keep silent about it. Call that child and encourage him/her to speak up about what’s happening. Oftentimes, abused children keep what’s going on to themselves for fear that nobody may believe them.

Therefore, showing that child you’re ready to help, makes them open up to you.

2. Take The Child To The Hospital

Don’t hesitate to seek medical care for a child who has been abused. Irrespective of what type of child abuse, medical attention is necessary to prevent other severe damages that may affect a child’s health as a result of the abuse.

3. Take The Child To Therapy

Most abused victims suffer from trauma and may never return to their normal way of living or reasoning. However, a therapist makes the healing process happen faster.

It helps that child find a reason to live again and stay happy.

4. Don’t Confront The Abuser

It’s dangerous to confront the abuser of a child directly. Irrespective of who that person is. This is because you end up worsening the issue, putting the life of that child in danger, likewise, your own life.

You should instead play low and apply another method.

5. Call The Police

Child abuse is a criminal offence and calls for immediate action. So, while you don’t approach the abuser directly, it’s your responsibility to report any case of child abuse to the legal authority who can bring justice for that child.

In essence, they ensure that abusers don’t go unpunished by the law.

6. Distance The Child From The Abuser

An abused victim is safer in the absence of the abuser. And get to heal faster from the hurts and pain sustain. It’s dangerous to allow the abuser to come closer to that child as it makes the child vulnerable to more harm.


Child Abuse can be eradicated if parents, teachers, and guidances are willing to be on the watch for the signs of child abuse mentioned in this article. Some signs are common to all the types of abuse, such as suicidal thoughts, withdrawal from friends, frightened of the presence of specific individuals, emotional disorders among others. 

However, it’s not compulsory to detect the type of child abuse before seeking help for that child. While raising a child is not easy especially as a single parent, check out how you can raise a kid as a single parent.

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