Early Signs of Child AbuseBy Moskowitz Law Group, LLC |
Child abuse often develops over time and it is not always easy to identify. Early signs of child abuse can be especially hard to recognize. Having an idea of what to look for can help you protect a child sooner rather than later.
Warning Signs of Abuse
Infants, toddlers, and teenagers can be victims of abuse in their own homes. Teachers who see children daily may be the first to notice early signs, but anyone who believes a child is suffering abuse has a right to act on their suspicions.
Unexplained injuries are some of the most obvious signs a child is experiencing abuse. Scratches and bruises could be caused by playing independently or with friends, but you should always follow up with an injured child or their parents to ensure they have an appropriate explanation for the harm. Other common signs of abuse include a child:
- Experiencing volatile emotions, such as excessive crying, bouts of anger, or tantrums, especially if it is out of their nature
- Wearing clothing that does not fit or not having proper hygiene
- Expressing fear about going home or returning to their parents
- Having difficulty interacting with their peers and making friends
- Claiming they are always hungry or have no energy
Importantly, if a child exhibits excessive attention-seeking behavior, it may be possible that they are compensating for neglect at home.
What to Do When You Recognize Signs of Child Abuse
If you suspect a child is being abused, contact the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) at 1-877-NJ ABUSE in New Jersey, or, Child Protective Services at 1-800-342-3720 in New York. To file a report, you will need to provide the following information:
- The name, age, and address of the suspected victim of abuse
- The name and address of the parents or guardians
- The name of the suspected abuser/neglecter
- A probable cause that the child is being abused or neglected
- Any other information that may be relevant
Even if you do not know a child personally, when you notice the early signs of abuse, you have a right to file a report and initiate an investigation.
Call a Knowledgeable Child Abuse Attorney for Support
If you or a loved one believe a child is experiencing abuse or neglect, act now and contact Moskowitz Law Group. Our compassionate child abuse attorneys can help you take the necessary next steps to protect the child.