Signs and Symptoms

To recognize child abuse, look for clusters of the following physical and behavioral symptoms:

  • Burns, bite marks, cuts, bruises, or welts in the shape of an object
  • Resistance to going home
  • Fear of adults
  • Apathy, depression
  • Hostility
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Inappropriate interest in or knowledge of sexual acts
  • Seductiveness
  • Avoidance of things related to sexuality, or rejection of own genitals or body
  • Either overcompliance or excessive aggression
  • Fear of a particular person or family member
  • Clothing unsuited to the weather
  • Being dirty or unbathed
  • Extreme hunger
  • Apparent lack of supervision

Warning Signs of Online Sexual Child Abuse

  • Your child receives mail, gifts, or packages from someone you don’t know
  • Your child becomes withdrawn from the family
  • Your child is using an online account belonging to someone else