Experts have now expanded the physical child abuse definition. They now define it as a non-accidental injury resulting from hitting, whipping, beating, biting, kicking, or anything that harms a child’s body.
We Define Child Exploitation As
“Using a Child for Another Person’s Gain or Benefit“
We have purposefully used the word “exploitation” over many other more common descriptions for a purposeful reason.
Frequent physical injuries Injuries that do not seem to fit the explanation given by the parents or child
Conflicting explanations that do not fit the injuries or injuries attributed to accidents that could not have occurred given the child’s age.
Habitual absence from or lateness to school without a credible reason.
Parents may keep a child at home until physical evidence of abuse has healed.
Awkward movements or difficulty walking; may suggest that the child is in pain or suffers from the aftereffects of repeated injuries.
Wearing clothing that excessively covers the body or is not weather appropriate
Child flinches with sudden movements
Specific Warning Signs
Bruising of padded areas such as the buttocks, thighs, genitalia, stomach, chest, and cheeks are concerning. It takes more force to cause bruising than over bony surfaces such as the forehead, knees, shins, elbows, etc (hard bones impacts hard surface = normal bruising).
Protected areas such as ears, neck, and upper lip are more difficult to injure
Patterned injuries such as loop marks, slap marks, or grab marks are highly suspicious.
Burns, without some evidence of withdrawal (splashes, uneven, hands, etc.)
Head injuries are the most common cause of child abuse-related deaths
Multiple injuries with different stages of healing
Fractures with multiple lesions
The Long-Term Impacts of Child Abuse
The age at which the abuse occurs influences how the injuries affect the child. Infant victims have the most significant risk of suffering long-term physical problems. The longer the abuse continues, the greater the impact on the child, regardless of age. The physical pain from abuse will eventually pass. Still, the emotional pain will last long after the visible wounds have healed.
How to Identify Exploitation and Abuse
Through our interactive training, Watchful Eye, we simplify how to identify and prevent child exploitation. No matter your skill level, you can learn to recognize behavior patterns and subtle indicators through this life-saving training.