What are the signs or symptoms of child abuse or neglect?

Just as there are various types of abuse and neglect, the symptoms of abuse and neglect may vary from child to child.

If you do suspect a child is being harmed, reporting your suspicions may protect the child and get help for the family. Contact your local child protective services agency or police department. For more information about where and how to file a report, call the Childhelp® National Child Abuse Hotline (1.800.4.A.CHILD).

The Child Welfare Information Gateway (formerly, the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse), a service of the Children's Bureau, has a fact sheet that may be of interest to you:

Recognizing Child Abuse and Neglect: Signs and Symptoms

States have a toll-free number to call to report suspected child abuse or neglect. Please refer to the state resources listing at https://www.childwelfare.gov/state-resources/  for information about where to call to make a report in your State.

Content created by Digital Communications Division (DCD)
Content last reviewed