This page will help you to recognise the signs of child abuse and includes definitions and physical and behavioural indicators, including:
- Physical child abuse
- Child sexual abuse
- Emotional child abuse
- Family violence
- Children exhibiting inappropriate sexual behaviour
When identifying child abuse, it is critical to remember that:
* the trauma associated with child abuse can be catastrophic to the wellbeing and development of a child, and can continue after the abuse has ended
* all concerns about the safety and wellbeing of a child, or the conduct of a staff member, contractor or volunteer should be acted upon as soon as practicable. Early intervention can save lives.
If physical and/or behavioural indicators lead you to suspect that a child has, or is being abused, or is at risk of abuse, you must respond as soon as practicable by following the four critical actions for early childhood services.
you believe that a child is not being abused, but you still hold concerns for their safety or wellbeing, to determine who to consult with, when to make a report and when to engage other wellbeing professionals, see: responding to concerns about the wellbeing of a child.
If you need to talk to someone, it is recommended that you speak to your manager/service provider about arranging appropriate support. You can also talk to your GP or another allied health professional, and report historical or current experiences of abuse to Victoria Police.
You can also contact Life Line on 13 11 14 or chat to someone online at Life Line