The thought of someone mistreating your child is unthinkable, especially if you’re concerned that your co-parent or their new partner might be responsible. However, every parent needs to be aware of the fact that they never really know what another person is capable of doing.
It is imperative to recognize the symptoms and signs of abuse in all its forms.
The 5 kinds of child abuse you may encounter
Abuse can be overt or subtle, so you need to be conscious of the fact that signs of abuse may not be entirely obvious. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are five types of abuse that can be inflicted on a child:
- Sexual abuse: Any sexual activity or exposure to a minor is illegal, inconceivable and unconscionable.
- Emotional abuse: Injuring a child- self-esteem or emotional well-being includes verbal attacks such as insulting as well as ignoring the child’s emotional needs.
- Medical abuse: Giving false information or putting the child at risk by not providing medical attention can be considered medical abuse.
- Neglect: Failing to provide basic needs such as housing and food can be considered neglect. This also applies to emotional support.
- Physical abuse: When a child is harmed or put at risk of physical harm, it can be considered child abuse. Similarly, witnessing domestic violence in their home can also leave lasting emotional scars on a child — even when the child isn’t physically harmed.
If you suspect that your co-parent or their new partner is abusive to your child, that’s an issue that can’t wait: You can seek a modification of custody through the court system right away. When an issue is this important, it’s wisest to explore all your legal options.