Child abuse is any act that harms a child’s physical or emotional health or development. It is frequently a pattern of behaviour by an adult or peer. Below is some general information that may help you identify abuse in the life of a child. This information will not cover every circumstance, so be aware of anything unusual or out of character for the child. Indicators may have other causes not related to abuse, nevertheless share any concerns/observations with your Ministry Coordinator or Minister.
Hitting & shaking
Burning or scalding
Bruises or fractures
Giving children alcohol, illegal drugs or
Domestic and Family Violence
Unexplained or hidden injuries
Fearful or nervous
Aggressive OR passive behaviour
|Psychological or Emotional Abuse |
Persistent Rejection or hostility
Constant yelling, insults or criticism
Cultural affronts or racism
Teasing and bullying
Witness to Domestic or Family Violence
|Low self esteem |
Unexplained mood swings
Agressive OR passive behaviour
Age inappropriate behaviours
Not providing a child sufficient food,
housing, clothing, sleep, hygienic living
conditions, or health care.
Leaving a child under 12 y.o. unattended for an “unreasonable time”
Children missing school
|Frequent hunger or malnutrition |
Inappropriate seasonal clothing
Medical needs not met
Unsupervised for long periods
Withdrawn or aggressive
Indiscriminate with affection
|Sexual Abuse or Exploitation |
Kissing or holding a child in a sexual
Exposing a sexual body part to a child.
Exposing children to sexual acts or
Making obscene phone calls or remarks to child.
Sexual relations with child under 16 y.o.
|Genital injury |
Sexually transmitted disease
Anxiety or depression
Persistent and age-inappropriate sexual activity or behaviours
Regressive behaviour (eg bedwetting)
Preoccupation with sexual matters
Secretive relationships with adults or children.
Self injurious or delinquent behaviour