Child abuse is often associated with bruises, broken bones and physical signs of neglect, but what many people don’t know is that child abuse can be present even when a child does not physically show any symptoms. If you are around children often, or suspect a child may not be treated properly, it’s important to look out for vital signs of abuse so you can prevent it from continuing and get them out of a bad situation as soon as possible.
|If you do notice any of these signs, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Unfortunately, child abuse quickly becomes a legal matter and to ensure the child is taken out of a bad situation right away is extremely important, especially after the abuse is discovered. An attorney can ensure the child is legally safe and out of harms way.|
In addition to black eyes and broken bones, here are a few often missed signs of child abuse:
Sudden Personality Changes – A child who was once bubbly and friendly suddenly becoming reserved and shy could be a sign of abuse. An abused child often has their spirits diminished and it can lead them to internalize pain and withdraw from social activities.
|Low Self-Esteem- Young children do not have low self-esteem issues as serious as adults do, because a well-cared for child will not experience moments where others put them down or make them feel bad about themselves. If you notice a child suddenly becomes self-conscious or overly self-aware, they may be experiencing emotional abuse.|
Decline in Performance- Whether it is out on the soccer field or on their progress report, a sudden decrease in performance could be a big sign of abuse. Children often lose motivation and drive when they are abused and this can show in their daily activities and school work.
|Change in Eating Habits- Stress is one of the biggest factors associated with abuse, but with children, it can be harder to pinpoint when they are stressed out. Not eating, or eating too much, can indicate a child who is overwhelmed, which can be caused by abuse.|
Missing Out on Activities- If a child is constantly missing school, coming in late or failing to show up for practice on the weekends, it may not just be laziness. If a child is physically abused, they may be retreating to hide bruises and injuries until they heal, while an emotionally abuse child may retreat to avoid interactions with their peers.
|A Sudden Change Around Certain People- If you notice a happy go-lucky child suddenly become scared or retreating when around a certain person, you may want to take note. Children often have trouble hiding their fear, and if a specific person like a coach or teacher is hurting them, it will often show in their face or actions when that person comes into close contact with them.|
The attorneys at Balkan and Patterson are experienced in helping families and children who have suffered from a wide range of abuse. If you feel a child is being abused, contact us today to learn how we can help use the law in their favor and get them to safety and out of harms way. For more information, give us a a call today at 561-750-9191 or visit our website