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IT’S not always easy to recognize when a child has been abused. Children who are abused are often afraid to complain because they are fearful that they will be blamed or that no one will believe them. Additionally, the person who abused them may be someone they love very much and want to protect. Parents are often unable to recognize symptoms of abuse because they may not want to face this reality.

Signs Of Physical Abuse
Signs of Physical Abuse

Injuries such as bruises, cuts bite marks, fractures and burns…

Signs Of Sexual Abuse
Signs of Sexual Abuse

Fearful behaviour, abdominal pain, bedwetting, genital pain or bleed…

Signs Of Psychological Abuse
Signs of Psychological Abuse

Constant shaming and/or humiliating a child. Bedwetting …

Signs Of Neglect
Signs of Neglect

Poor hygiene practice, development delays in weight and language…

If you suspect a child has been sexually abused, the child should be examined as soon as possible by a trained healthcare professional; it can’t be stressed enough that an abused child needs immediate access to special support and treatment. A doctor’s exam should not be delayed for any reason. Many signs of injury related to sexual abuse are temporary. Ideally, the exam should occur within 72 hours of the event or discovery. A complete physical exam must always be performed so that the examiner can look for any signs of physical or sexual abuse. These two forms of abuse may coexist. The longer the abuse continues, the less likely the child will make a full recovery.

Watch out for unexplained changes in your child’s body or behaviour. Conduct a formal examination only if you have reason to suspect your child has been abused. Otherwise, the child may become fearful.

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