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Detecting Signs of Child Abuse and Neglect

Unfortunately, just like adults, not all children speak up when they have been abused or neglected. As such, it is often the responsibility of adult family and friends to keep a close eye on the child and parent when abuse is suspected. However, the signs and symptoms are sometimes incredibly hard to spot. Physical abuse and neglect can be even more difficult to detect when the child is very young.

If you are a parent and suspect that your divorced spouse or separated partner is abusing or neglecting your child during their visitation or custody periods, you need to contact a Rhode Island family law attorney at once. Additionally, if you are a grandparent or other family member, friend, or neighbor, it may be up to you to speak up and bring your suspicions to the attention of the authorities.

Child Abuse and Neglect Can Impact a Child for a Lifetime

The long-term effects of abuse and neglect can haunt even the youngest and seemingly happiest children for the rest of their lives. They may develop learning disabilities, depression, thoughts and acts of suicide, long-term health problems, eating disorders, low self-esteem, anxiety, and more. The most important time in the emotional development in a person’s life is when they are a child. When this time is taken away by an abusive or neglectful adult, children can suffer for a lifetime.

Signs of Abuse and Neglect

In order to effectively co-parent together, parents need to believe that they both have the best interest of their child in everything they do and are committed to the safety and well-being of their child. Even if the marriage or relationship didn’t work out, it is often hard for a parent to fathom that the other parent would harm their child.

Tragically, that is not always the case. It is estimated that one in seven children has experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year. More than 75 percent of those cases are a parent abusing or neglecting their child. This is why it is critical for every parent to know what the signs of abuse and neglect are.

Physical Abuse

  • Injuries that seem to have a pattern
  • Injuries to body parts or areas that normally do not get injured, such as the inner legs, arms, genitals, and buttocks
  • An unbelievable explanation of the injury, or an explanation that changes over the course of time
  • Repeating injuries of the same type
  • The parent or caregiver does not take the child in to seek medical treatment for their injuries

Emotional Abuse

  • The child shows a lack of interest in events you would expect them to get excited about
  • Decline in schoolwork
  • Unreactive or responsive to large changes in their lives
  • Overreaction to minor problems
  • Signs of an eating disorder
  • Signs of fear from the adult caregiver

Child Neglect

  • Being very overweight
  • Being very underweight
  • Constantly sick
  • Always fatigued
  • Poor hygiene
  • Not dressed properly for the weather

Let Our Family Law Firm Help

If you suspect your child or a child in your family is being neglected or abused, contact the police and child services immediately. The custody and visitation rights of the parent in question may be revoked. No child deserves to be abused or treated under any circumstances.

Next, contact Kirshenbaum Law Associates at 401-467-5300 for a confidential consultation with a skilled Rhode Island family attorney. If the caregiver in question has custody or visitation rights, we will help you to revoke those rights as soon as possible.


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