Saint Louis University

Educational Resources

Signs of Child Abuse

The following signs may signal the presence of child abuse or neglect:

• Signs of physical abuse
• Has unexplained burns, bites, bruises, broken bones, or black eyes
• Has fading bruises or other marks noticeable after an absence from school
• Seems frightened of the parents and protests or cries when it is time to go home
• Shrinks at the approach of adults
• Reports injury by a parent or another adult caregiver

Signs of Sexual Abuse

• Has difficulty walking or sitting
• Suddenly refuses to change for gym or to participate in physical activities
• Reports nightmares or bedwetting
• Experiences a sudden change in appetite
• Demonstrates bizarre, sophisticated, or unusual sexual knowledge or behavior
• Becomes pregnant or contracts a venereal disease, particularly if under age 14
• Runs away
• Reports sexual abuse by a parent or another adult caregiver

Recognizing Child Abuse (2013). Child Welfare Information Gateway. Retrieved from:


Higher purpose. Greater good.
© 1818 - 2015  SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY   |   Disclaimer   |  Mobile Site
St. Louis   |   Madrid