Heart BadgeSigns And Symptoms Of Child Abuse

Physical Abuse

  • Bruises, burns, cuts, welts noted at various stages of healing
  • Attempts by victim to hide injuries
  • Exaggerated efforts to please parents/caregivers
  • Major behavioral problems, disturbances — violence, withdrawal, self-injury
  • Hypervigilance around adults, especially parents/caregivers

Sexual Abuse

  • Genital injuries, blood in undergarments, complaints of genital discomfort
  • Diagnosis of sexual transmitted disease; frequent urinary tract infections, bruises/abrasions to thighs and legs. Enuresis or encopresis.
  • Behavioural disturbances - agressive sexual behavior, self-destructive
  • Depression, eating disorders, fears, phobia, dissociation
  • Unexplained or sudden apearance of gifts, money or toys


  • Poor hygiene, inappropriate dress
  • Failure to thrive — underweight, hair loss, begging for food
  • Poor supervision, missed school, missed appointments
  • Significant fatigue
  • Untreated health problems


  • Depression
  • Withdrawal
  • Repetitive agitated, rhythmic movements
  • Unreasonable demands or conflict triangulation

White heartLeading Causes of Child Abuse

  • Parents’ history of child maltreatment in their family during childhood
  • Substance abuse and/or mental health issues, including depression in the family
  • Parents’ lack of understanding of children’s needs, child development and parenting skills
  • Parental characteristics such as young age, low education, single parenthood, large number of dependent children, and low income
  • Nonbiological, transient caregivers in the home (e.g., mother’s male partner)
  • Parental thoughts and emotions that tend to support or justify maltreatment behaviours

Heart BadgeProtective Factors

  • Nurturing parenting skills
  • Stable family relationships
  • Household rules and child monitoring
  • Adequate income
  • Adequate housing
  • Access to health care and social services
  • Caring adults outside the family who can serve as role models or mentors
  • Communities that support parents and take responsibility for preventing abuse
Call To Action

Children deserve a life free from abuse.

And that’s why we’re here.

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