Child abuse and neglect can come in many different forms and it's not always easy to recognise when a child - be it a stranger or someone you know - may be suffering behind closed doors. However, on any occasion where you suspect something is happening to a child at home or elsewhere, it's always best to inform someone who might be able to help and/or investigate.
All too often people decide against going to authorities when they get suspicions of a child being mistreated, just in case they are wrong and they don't want to be responsible for putting a family through needless distress. But this lack of action only raises statistics of child abuse going undiscovered for long periods of time.
Do you know the warning signs? Take the Department Of Education’s quiz to make sure you’re aware of these issues:
It could be a teacher you speak to, a police officer, a social worker or even a doctor - anyone with a duty of care can look into how a child is being treated at home, school etc.. First of all, it's important to understand the different types of abuse that a child may be being subjected to; it's not always physical or sexual, children can also suffer from neglect, emotional and verbal abuse, as well as psychological abuse.
Secondly, recognise the signs of when a youngster is suffering; physical injuries, unexplained absences for long periods of time, a change in behaviour and general despondency are all potential warning signs.
Whatever your reason for raising concerns about a child's well-being, know that it is perfectly fine to discuss the issue with a close friend, partner or family member first. Reporting child abuse is always first and foremost about protecting the child potentially at risk, there's no time to worry that you might be wrong.
Whether you’re a parent or not, make sure you’re part of the solution #tackleabusetogether