Dynamics of Abuse

Understanding the dynamics of Abuse is essential to helping children and families.  It is important to remember that what seems like abuse isn’t  always abuse.  There are physical and behavioral indicators of abuse/ maltreatment.  The 4 types of abuse and physical indicators are listed below.

4 Types of Maltreatment

1,  Physical

Bruising, (face, throat, upper arms, butt, thighs, or lower back), Unusual shaped bruises, on an infant, bite/pinch marks, in clusters, various stages of healing, Burns, skeletal injuries, twist fractures, welts, missing/chipped teeth, loss of hair, broken eardrum, abdominal injuries.

2,  Sexual

Somatic complaints, pregnancy, genital discharge, frequent unexplained sore throats, torn/stained underwear

3.  Emotional

emotional/mental injury is not temporary but long lasting,  It is observed in a child’s behavior.

Behavioral Indicators:  eating d/o, speech d/o, delays in speech/motor skills, low height/weight, head banging, regressive behavior, poor peer relations, fire setting, cruel behavior, withdrawal

4,  Neglect

abandonment, poor hygiene, not dressed for weather, untreated illness, child left unsupervised

Behavioral Indicators:  problematic attendance, chronic hunger, tiredness, begging,


Why Does this Happen? 4 Categories

1.  Characteristics of Parent/Caregiver

lack of coping skills, difficult forming relationships, lack of empathy, impulsive, history of victimization

2.  Lack of resources/support system

poverty, chronic unemployment, doesn’t know how to use community resources, lack of trust in others

3.  Special/characteristics of child

Child is sick, premature, medically fragile, seen with undesirable qualities

4.  Excessive stress

frequent crisis, illness in family, violent neighborhood, racism, recent losses, frequent relocation, isolation, lack of transportation

SOURCE:  Child Abuse and Neglect Dynamics Definitions Prevention And Reporting DIARY


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