Responding to disclosures of child abuse
When a child discloses abuse it can be hard to know how ...
Some examples of physical abuse include:
Hitting, punching or slapping
Choking or suffocating
Kicking, pushing or pulling
Biting, spitting or shaking
Pinching, scratching or burning
Destroying a child’s property
Threatening to hurt a child
Restraining or locking a child up
Force feeding or denying food or sleep
Throwing items or using items to hurt a child
Poisoning or making a child feel unwell with drugs or medicine
Stopping a child from taking their medication
Children may experience a range of emotional, psychological and physical problems as a result of being harmed, including:
Nightmares or insomnia
Distrust of adults
Depression or anxiety
Alcohol or drug abuse
Attachment or learning disorders
Increased fear, guilt or self-blame
Post-traumatic stress or eating disorders
Permanent physical injuries or death
Child protection is everyone’s business! Some adults have a legal obligation to notify authorities (these obligations differ between states and territories).
Encourage the child in your life to contact Kids Helpline if they need some extra support to cope with what has been happening.
You may find talking to somebody outside of the situation helpful. You could try calling Parentline in your state or territory to discuss your concerns.
For some guidance on responding to disclosures of child abuse, see our article on Responding to disclosures of child abuse.
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