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Recognising abuse: Signs and symptoms

© UN Malaysia/2004/Chauly

The first step to helping abused children is learning about the signs and symptoms of: (i) physical abuse, (ii) emotional abuse, (iii) sexual abuse, (iv) neglect.

When looking out for signs of child abuse, don’t just think bruises and broken bones. There may also be behavioural or emotional signs, or a combination of several signs. For example, unexplained injuries accompanied by a change in the child’s behaviour could be a sign that something is wrong.

Having one or two bruises does not necessarily mean that the child is being abused. But when signs appear repeatedly or in combination with other symptoms, we should be concerned.

Learning more about the signs and symptoms of abuse, and knowing how to seek advice or assistance, is the best way you can help.

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