Whilst indicators are a way of identifying abuse, each indicator must be weighed up against the child’s age, capabilities, medical and developmental history. Absence of indicators does not always mean that abuse is not happening and in most cases, indicators will occur in groups. Abuse is not identified through one incident or indicator.
Physical abuse indicators include-
– Wary of adults
– Being aggressive or abusive
– Unable to concentrate
– Lying/stealing
– Continuously having unexplained injuries
Sexual abuse indicators include-
– Changes in behaviour
– Self-neglect
– Sexual behaviour
– Self-harm
– Scared of physical contact
– Depression
Emotional abuse and neglect indicators include-
– Difficulty developing relationships
– Passive behaviour
– Delayed development
– Poor appearance
Whilst these indicators are a way of identifying abuse, children can display the above behaviours without abuse being present. It is our responsibility to report concerns and allow the relevant parties to complete an investigation.


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