Home » Blog » Parenting » Recognizing Signs of Child Abuse

Recognizing Signs of Child Abuse

Unthinkable as it is to imagine someone intentionally hurting a child, about 1 million children are abused every year in the United States. And these are only the reported incidents — many more are unreported and undetected, often because children are afraid to tell. When mistreatment becomes abuse, children are injured, neglected, and emotionally damaged. Approximately 1,000 to 1,300 U.S. children are known to die as a result of physical abuse, and those who survive suffer emotional trauma that lasts long after the bruises have healed.

Some studies report that in the United States, as many as one out of every eight boys and one out of every four girls is sexually abused before turning 18 years old. In 90% of these cases, sexual abuse occurs in the home, particularly when younger children are involved. A child who knows the abuser (about 90% of cases involve an abuser who was previously known to the child) usually senses that the abuse is wrong, but he may feel trapped by the affection he feels for the person or fearful of the power the abuser has over him, so he doesn’t tell. Whatever the statistics, one thing we know is that child abuse is too frequent and too often hidden.

Learn how to recognize signs of child abuse now.

Recognizing Signs of Child Abuse

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder & CEO of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues -- as well as the intersection of technology and human behavior -- since 1992. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member and treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine. He writes regularly and extensively on mental health concerns, the intersection of technology and psychology, and advocating for greater acceptance of the importance and value of mental health in today's society. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment
APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2018). Recognizing Signs of Child Abuse. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 19, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.