Child Abuse has been in the spotlight in recent years, and ultimately, that is good news for children everywhere. For a long time child abuse was in the shadows. Even if other adults thought it was happening, they might not have known exactly what to do. And as a result of this culture of silence, generations of children suffered at the hands of relatives and caretakers in trusted places like school, church, camp, etc.
Today, the era of, “I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t SURE, or I didn’t know WHAT to do,” is absolutely 100% GONE.
Child Abuse is not only illegal on a federal level, through the CAPTA legislation, most states have long lists of legally Mandated Reporters. In some states ANYONE who suspects child abuse is expected to report it. For LEGAL information or access to hotlines visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway.
(This article does not constitute not legal advice. Always consult with a legal professional if you have questions.)
If you are confused or alarmed about what your responsibilities might be, it’s important that you have some TRAINING to help you. Some states have made training a legal responsibility. The most recent? Pennsylvania, whose Act 126 training requirement ensures that all Mandated Reporters in the state know how to recognize signs of child abuse and neglect and exactly how to report it.
In homage to helping ALL of our educators combat child abuse, we will be publishing basic information on how to RECOGNIZE child abuse in a series of blog posts. Today’s information?
Warning Signs of Physical Abuse
This isn’t pleasant information, but it’s much-needed. Children’s safety depends on us being willing to face this issue head-on. Indicators of physical abuse can also be physical or emotional. Some emotional indicators are more subtle. Pay attention if you notice:
- Bite marks
- Scraped areas
- Injuries to both eyes/cheeks (accidents usually injure only one side)
- Burns or bruises in the shape of an object (cigarette, belt, cord, iron, etc.)
- Exhibits habit disorders (Ex – compulsive nail-biting, scab-picking)
- Wears long sleeves in warm environments (also can be covering physical signs like bruises)
- Has low self-esteem
- Engages in self-injury (Ex – cutting one’s own skin)
- May attempt suicide
- Wary (scared/anxious about) of contact with parents or other adults
- Shows concern when other children cry
- Demonstrates aggressiveness, withdrawal, or extreme mood changes
- Expresses FEAR of going home
- Runs away frequently
- Reports injury by parents
Want to learn more about identifying and reporting child abuse, as well as participating in prevention efforts? Visit the EDTRAININGCENTER Safety and Compliance training category for offerings that will deepen your understanding.
[tags] Act 126 online training, state approved, child abuse, mandated reporter, physical indicators of child abuse, emotional indicators of child abuse, CAPTA, Child Welfare Information Gateway [/tags]