What to do if you suspect someone of child abuse

a19982099f811be5e3f54f1c30b4a33c

Child abuse happens more often than you might think. But how is it
characterized, and what can you do if you suspect that a child is at
risk?

“Abuse is an epidemic problem,” says Mary Pulido, executive
director of The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Children. It’s different from neglect, which is the absence of attention
and care from a parent or guardian — like when children are left alone
in a car or not getting the medicines they need. Abuse is on the
opposite side of the continuum, when a parent or guardian is
intentionally hurting a child.

Although Pulido notes that sometimes
it’s difficult to distinguish whether an injury comes from playing or
from abuse, she says that there are ways you can tell if something is
amiss.

“[Abuse] is not a one-shot deal, usually,” Pulido says. “You’re going to see bruises in different stages of healing,” she says.

Where the child is bruised is another consideration.

“When
you fall, it’s usually on the palms of your hands and knees,” Pulido
says. “Injuries on the arms or stomach are suspicious.”

For infants, any injury requires further inquiry.

Other signs

When the signs of abuse are not physically clear, such as is the case with sexual or emotional abuse, a child’s behavior is the biggest indicator. According to Pulido, if a child becomes withdrawn, sad, anxious or angry, it could be a sign of abuse.
   
“It’s difficult to detect, but if there’s physical abuse happening, most children are probably being abused emotionally, too,” she says.

How to report abuse  

If you see a child being abused on the street, or hear a child screaming in pain, call 911.

“Police are trained to respond to sensitive calls,” Pulido says.

If, as a concerned friend or neighbor, you have a suspicion that a child is being abused, call the child abuse hotline. Every state has an abuse hotline.

“You’re going to be anxious while making the report,” Pulido says. “[But] it’s very important that you’re doing it. Due to your intervention, you can be saving a life.”

The hotline will ask for your name and number, but you are not required to give it.

“The important thing is to make the call,” Pulido says. “You’re taking a stand to help solve the problem.”

Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox beat White Sox…

Red Sox walk 15 times in extra innings win

NBA

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics:…

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics: 'I hope to be back'

NBA

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery…

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery odds with loss

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.