Physical abuse is where a child experiences severe/persistent mistreatment through behaviours such as beating, shaking, being given drugs and alcohol, excessive discipline and physical punishment.
The harm experienced by a child as a result of these behaviours will be significant in the child’s wellbeing. Harm that a child may experience as a result of physical abuse can include cuts, bruises, burns, bites and fractures. Injuries as a result of physical abuse are not considered accidental.
There is no single cause of child abuse. Children may be abused for a number of reasons, these include:
- Various addictions eg. drugs, alcohol etc.
- Parent unable to cope
- Relationship difficulties
- Anger management issues
- Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
- Mental illness
While physical signs (such as bruises) or changes in behaviour may be a cause for concern, these indicators have also been seen in children who have not been subjected to abuse. If you have concerns for a child’s safety and well being contact the Department for Child Protection to discuss your concerns on 1800 622 258.
WHERE TO NEXT?
Taking the next step and contacting a family lawyer can be scary. Our lawyers will make you feel comfortable so you can talk about your situation. But first, ask yourself, Do I really need a lawyer?