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Know the Signs of Child Abuse

You Just Might Save a Life

Nationally, 1 in 4 children is abused or neglected at some point in their life. Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of child abuse to bring an end to this global issue.

Know the Signs. Save a Life.

Abuse sufferers are often too embarrassed, ashamed, or afraid to report their abusers. Knowing how to recognize the signs and symptoms is crucial to bringing an end to this crime and protecting our community and world.

Mayo Clinic’s Signs and Symptoms of Abuse in Children and Teens

  • Withdrawal from friends or usual activities
  • Changes in behavior or school performance
  • Depression, anxiety, or unusual fear
  • Sudden loss of self-confidence
  • Issues with sleeping and nightmares
  • An apparent lack of supervision
  • Frequent absences from school
  • Rebellious or defiant behavior
  • Self-harm or attempts at suicide
Symptoms of Physical Abuse
  • Unexplained injuries, such as bruises, broken bones, or burns
  • Injuries that don’t match the given explanation
  • Injuries that aren’t compatible with the child’s developmental ability
Signs of Sexual Abuse
  • Sexual behavior or knowledge that’s inappropriate for the child’s age
  • Pregnancy or a sexually transmitted infection
  • Genital or anal pain, bleeding, or injury
  • Statements by the child that he or she was sexually abused
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior with other children
Symptoms of Emotional Abuse
  • Delayed or inappropriate emotional development
  • Loss of self-confidence or self-esteem
  • Social withdrawal or a loss of interest or enthusiasm
  • Depression
  • Avoidance of certain situations, such as refusing to go to school or ride the bus
  • Appears to desperately seek affection
  • A decrease in school performance or loss of interest in school
  • Loss of previously acquired developmental skills
Signs of Neglect
  • Poor growth
  • Excessive weight with medical complications that are not being adequately addressed
  • Poor personal cleanliness
  • Lack of clothing or supplies to meet physical needs
  • Hoarding or stealing food
  • Poor record of school attendance
  • Lack of appropriate attention for medical, dental, or psychological problems or lack of necessary follow-up care

Mayo Clinic’s Signs and Symptoms of Abuse through parental behavior

  • Shows little concern for the child
  • Appears unable to recognize physical or emotional distress in the child
  • Blames the child for the problems
  • Consistently belittles or berates the child and describes the child with negative terms, such as “worthless” or “evil”
  • Expects the child to provide attention and care to the parent and seems jealous of other family members getting attention from the child
  • Uses harsh physical discipline
  • Demands an inappropriate level of physical or academic performance
  • Severely limits the child’s contact with others
  • Offers conflicting or unconvincing explanations for a child’s injuries or no explanation at all
  • Repeatedly brings the child for medical evaluations or requests medical tests, such as X-rays and lab tests, for concerns not seen during the health care provider’s examination

Child Abuse in Ohio

Child abuse is a global problem still prevalent in local communities today. This abuse includes physical, emotional, sexual, verbal, mental, and neglect. As a result, children develop cognitive and behavioral issues from this trauma.


  • 1 in 4 children is abused or neglected at some point in their life
  • On average, 676,000 children are in child protective services because of abuse or neglect
  • On average, 1,750 children die because of abuse or neglect
Out of approximately 2.7 million children living in Ohio:
  • Physical abuse sufferers — 29,659 or 30%
  • Neglect sufferers — 25,098 or 26%
  • Sexual abuse sufferers — 9,040 or 9%
  • Emotional maltreatment sufferers — 1,301 or 1%
  • Suffering from multiple allegations of abuse/neglect — 13,827 or 14%

See it. Report it. Save a Life.

If you suspect a child or family is suffering from child abuse or neglect, report it to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (JFS). Call 855-O-H-CHILD (855-642-4453) or visit the JFS website for more information.

Contact NewPath Child & Family Solutions if you or someone you know needs additional help recovering from cognitive and/or behavioral issues resulting from trauma. Start your healing journey with NewPath. There is hope. There is help.


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