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Possible Indicators of Maltreatment

Possible Indicators of Child Maltreatment


Physical IndicatorsBehavioral Indicators
Physical Abuse
Physical Indicators
1) Unexplained Bruises and Welts
• On face, lips, mouth
• On torso, back, buttocks, thighs
• In various stages of healing
• Clustered, forming regular pattern
• Reflecting shape of article used to inflict; electric cord or belt buckle
• On several different surface areas; regularly appear after absence, weekend or vacation
2) Unexplained Burns
• Cigar, cigarette burns, especially on soles, palms, back or buttocks
• Immersion burns; sock-like, glove-like, doughnut shaped on buttocks or genitalia, patterned like electric burner, iron
• Rope burns on arms, legs, neck or torso
3) Unexplained Fractures
• To skull, nose, facial structure in various stages of healing
• Multiple or spiral fractures
4) Unexplained Lacerations or Abrasions
• To mouth, lips, gums, eyes
• To external genitalia
Physical Abuse
Behavioral Indicators
• Wary of adult contacts
• Apprehensive when other children cry
• Behavioral extremes; aggressiveness or withdrawal
• Frightened of parents
• Afraid to go home
• Reports injury by parents
Physical Neglect
Physical Indicators
• Consistent hunger
• Poor hygiene
• Inappropriate dress
• Consistent lack of supervision, especially in dangerous activities for long periods
• Unattended physical problems or medical needs; abandonment
Physical Neglect
Behavioral Indicators
• Begging, stealing food
• Extended stays at school; early arrival and late departure
• Constant fatigue, listlessness or falling asleep in class
• Alcohol or drug abuse
• Delinquency; thefts
• States there is no caretaker
Sexual Abuse
Physical Indicators
• Difficulty walking or sitting
• Pain or itching in genital area
• Bruises or bleeding in external genitalia, vaginal or anal areas
• Sexually Transmitted disease, especially in pre-teens
• Pregnancy
Sexual Abuse
Behavioral Indicators
• Unwilling to change for gym or participate in physical education class
• Withdrawal, fantasy or bizarre, sophisticated or unusual sexual behavior or knowledge
• Poor peer relationships
• Delinquent or runaway behavior
• Reports sexual assault by caretaker
Emotional Abuse
Physical Indicators
• Speech disorders
• Lags in physical development
• Failure to thrive
Emotional Abuse
Behavioral Indicators
• Habit disorders: sucking, biting, rocking
• Conduct disorders: antisocial, destructive
• Neurotic traits: sleep disorders, inhibited play
• Psychoneurotic reactions: hysteria, obsession, compulsion, phobias, hypochondria
• Behavior extremes: compliant, passive or aggressive, demanding
• Overly adaptive behavior: inappropriately adult or inappropriately infant
• Developmental lags: mental, emotional
• Attempted suicide


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