Physical abuse, although readily dismissed as “therapy” in the case of domestic violence decades ago, has since been rightly considered just plain wrong and something that should never occur in any good and healthy relationship.
However, physical abuse still occurs in the shadows, leaving many people stuck to face it head on.
And while women who are involved in domestic violence cases have the agency to actually leave a bad situation if and when they find the strength within to do so, children simply do not have that luxury.
Children are often stuck with their parents, not being able to escape their violent grasp until evidence of such physical abuse comes out.
Because of this, it is often on other adults in the child’s life to keep a sharp eye out for any and all signs of physical abuse.
The most common sign of physical abuse is physical markings.
These markings indicate beatings that the child has gone through and may be fresh markings from a recent beating, or even something that appears to be a scar or something that occurred a long time ago.
If any sort of markings are observed, there is no harm in innocently asking the child what happened to them.
Depending on their response, it should be fairly obvious if someone in their family did something to them, or if the cause of such markings is inconsequential.
Also keep in mind that the child may very well be lying about what happened to that bruise on their arm, or the black eye they may have.
In these cases, it is important to rely on your ability to sniff out lies and don’t dismiss their responses so easily.
Even if you don’t press the issue further (as sometimes this is the smarter approach), make sure you take mental notes so you can be more observant of the child moving forward.
If the physical abuse is really bad, the child may also give off signs that they don’t want to go back home, for fear of getting beat again.
These sorts of tells typically come up spontaneously so, so it is very important that you keep an eye out for them as well.
For example, the child may have just been on a long vacation with his grandparents and upon returning to school, you may ask them if they are excited to be home again with mom and dad.
If they respond sheepishly, or in any way that is atypical for a child who has missed their parents, then odds are that there is a reason that they are behaving this way.
In these sorts of cases, you can either press the issue further by asking why he or she is behaving that way in response to you, or you can simply take another mental note and watch for any other troubling signs.
As soon as you have any indication that something may be going wrong, uncovering definitive evidence of physical abuse will not take much longer, since you will be much more actively engaged in watching the child’s behavior or physical state moving forward.