Physical Abuse

Involves physical harm or injury to a child. In some cases, the abuse was intentional, and in other cases, the abuse may be perceived as accidental.  This could include: hitting, kicking, shaking, pinching, using a belt or other object for spanking, burning, breaking bones, bruising, cutting, shoving, etc.

Emotional Abuse

A child who is experiencing put downs, name calling, demeaning or vulgar language, humiliation, threats, continuous yelling or screaming, destroying objects of value to the child, abusing animals in front of child, isolation, actions designed to make the child feel afraid and worthless. Witnessing domestic violence is considered emotional abuse because of the psychological consequences.


It is a failure to provide for a child’s basic needs like adequate food, shelter, weather appropriate clothes, medical care, supervision, or a means to go school.

Sexual Abuse

Any act with a child or youth (under 18) that is intended to sexually gratify an adult, and in certain cases another child or youth.  Sexual activity can include but is not limited to clothed or unclothed exposure to genitalia, fondling, masturbation, intimate kissing, verbal discussion, anal or oral intercourse, exploitation, obscene phone calls, prostitution, or pornography exposure that is enacted with a minor by a person who holds power over the event. This may include: Sexual Harassment, Child Molestation, Pedophilia, Incest, Statutory Rape, Internet Solicitations.


Some Signs Can Indicate Any Form of Child Abuse:

  • Aggressive, disruptive, and sometimes illegal behavior
  • Hard to believe stories about how abuse happened
  • Anger and rage, or feelings of sadness or other
  • Lack of interest in surroundings
  • Symptoms of depressions
  • Anxiety or fears, flashbacks, or nightmares
  • Lack of supervision
  • Broken bones or internal injuries, burns
  • Passive or withdrawn behavior
  • Changes in a child’s behavior or school performance
  • Poor self image
  • Constant hunger or thirst
  • Sexual acting out
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Self-destructive or self-abusive behavior
  • Dirty hair or skin
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Frequent diaper rash
  • School problems or failure
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Child seems guarded and startles easily
  • Child loiters at school or friends’ houses
  • Child seems reluctant to go home

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