- Physical Abuse
- Abusive Head Trauma
- Distinguishing Abuse from Accident
- Sexual Abuse
- Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
- Emotional Abuse
- Neglect of a Child
Physical abuse: Infliction of physical harm or the causation of a child’s deterioration, and may include, but shall not be limited to, maltreatment or exploiting a child to the extent the child’s health is endangered. (K.S.A. 38-2202)
Physical abuse may be the result of a deliberate attempt to harm a child, but not always. It can result from severe discipline, such as using a belt on a child, or physical punishment that is inappropriate to the child’s age or physical condition. In physical abuse, unpredictability, lashing out in anger and using fear to control behavior are elements that are present. These elements separate abuse from discipline.
Child abuse is not always obvious, but both physical and behavioral indicators of child abuse may be evident. Physical indicators should be considered based on inconsistent medical history, the child’s developmental state and the presence of other indicators if known. The earlier abuse is caught, the better the chance of recovery and appropriate treatment for a child.
Listed below are common physical and behavioral indicators of physical abuse. Seeing one warning sign does not automatically mean that a child is being abused. It is important to dig deeper and look for a pattern of abuse behavior and warning signs.
The parent or other adult caregiver may:
Please note that these behavioral indicators must be considered with other evidence. Ask yourself these questions when determining whether physical abuse has occurred:
Source: Kansas Department for Children and Families.