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Child abuse awareness is important for the safety of children and families. Raising awareness can help protect children from being emotionally, physically, or sexually harmed.

What Are Indicators of Possible Abuse?

Neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and exploitation are all forms of child abuse.

Abused children may have unexplained bruises, broken bones, or injuries, loss of interest in activities, poor school attendance,, decrease in school performance, feelings of sadness, poor hygiene (dirty, hair, fingernails, clothes), steal food, and not have access to dental or medical care.

Parent behaviors can also be red flags. Warning signs include unable to recognize child’s distress, belittles or blames child, uses harsh physical discipline, offers unusual explanations of injuries

What Is Child Abuse?

Child abuse occurs when a child is physically or emotionally harmed, injured, or killed by a parent, caregiver, or other adult, through the adult’s action or failure to act.

For immediate danger or suspected abuse, call 911. Report to your local child protective services office. Call or text 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800) 422-4453.


  • About 4.4 million child-neglect reports are made each year.
  • About 7.9 million reports involve child abuse.
  • Only about 3.4 million children receive intervention services. Younger children are more vulnerable to abuse (25.7 per 1,000).
  • Five children die from abuse every day.


American Society for the Positive Care of Children (SPCC); Childhelp; Coalition for Children; Statista.com Research


Logos for the Child Abuse and Neglect Preventions and the Children's Trust Fund of Alabama

Peer ReviewKatrina Akande, Extension Specialist, Assistant Professor, Lola Mahner, Graduate Student, and Nakia Jones, Program Director, all in Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University

New February 2023, Child Abuse Awareness, FCS-2713

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