Children who are victims of abuse often experience symptoms of stress in reaction to the abuse, in addition to symptoms that are specific to the kind of abuse they have suffered. The signs and symptoms of abuse often vary according to the age and developmental stage of the child. It is also important to understand that victims of child abuse suffer abuse in more than one way, so the child may demonstrate symptoms consistent with more than one kind of maltreatment.
Examples of less specific signs and symptoms of child abuse include:
Examples of risk-taking behaviors in children include unsafe play, like climbing excessively high or running in the street. More potentially specific signs and symptoms of abuse may include the following:
Acts that constitute child abuse are more common in the United States than most people realize: every year, there are more than 3 million reports of child abuse, involving almost 6 million children. Worse still, every day, four or five children are killed by child abuse or neglect.