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What are some key signs of child abuse? (

  • Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance
  • Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents' attention
  • Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that can not be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes
  • Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen
  • Lacks adult supervision
  • Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn, or is clinging, anxious, irritable
  • Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home
  • Is reluctant to be around a particular person
  • Discloses maltreatment

For more information on specific signs of child abuse please visit:

If a child reports abuse, what are some questions I can ask?

  • Is someone making you do anything that you feel uncomfortable about?
  • Does any place on your body hurt?
  • Has anyone touched you in a way you didn't like?

"Avoid asking leading questions.  If sexual abuse is suspected, leave detailed questions for professional interviewers.  It is best to have a general conversation where the child discloses spontaneously, and note the child's voice changes, eye contact, breathing patterns and change of subject when describing situations or people."

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