How to Recognize Child Abuse and Neglect

Recognize Child Abuse and Neglect

Each year innocent children suffer needlessly from abuse and neglect at the hands of family members, caregivers, and legal guardians. While abuse and neglect have some differences, they both cause severe damage to children. For both abuse and neglect, there are distinct ways to recognize if it is occurring in a child.


Abuse is a broad term that covers many distinct behaviors including physical, emotional, substance, and sexual abuse.

  • Physical abuse results in injury, sometimes death, and can include punching, beating, shaking, or harming a child in any way. Children who are being physically abused often have bruises, cuts, or burn marks on their skin.
  • Emotional or psychological abuse occurs when a parent or guardian damages a child’s self-confidence or emotional development.
  • Substance abuse regarding children occurs when children are given illegal substances to use or drugs are manufactured in front of a children.
  • Sexual abuse can include rape, incest, and prostitution of minors.


Neglect, an equally damaging and offensive crime, occurs when parents or caregivers fail to meet a child’s basic needs.

  • Physical neglect includes a failure for caregivers to provide adequate food, shelter, or supervision.
  • Medical neglect occurs when children are not given appropriate medical treatment when they are injured or sick.
  • Education neglect is when a child does not have access to an education or a caregiver fails to cater to a child who needs special education.
  • Emotional neglect is where a caregiver fails to pay attention to a child’s emotional needs, allows the child to abuse drugs or alcohol, or refuses necessary psychological care.

If you are concerned about the physical and emotional wellbeing of your children, or someone you know, it is vital to get into touch with a child abuse and neglect attorney right away.
Contact us at Emerson Straw to schedule your free consultation.