Wellingborough Amateur Swimming Club



Recognising child abuse is not always easy, even for the experts. The examples below are not a complete list and are only indications NOT confirmation of child abuse.

  • Unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, bites or burns, particularly if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries.
  • The child says that she or he is being abused, or another person says they believe (or actually know) that abuse is occurring.
  • The child has an injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent or which has not been adequately treated.
  • The child's behaviour changes, either over time or quite suddenly, or he or she becomes quiet and withdrawn, or alternatively becomes aggressive.
  • Refusal to remove clothing for normal activities, or keeping covered up in warm weather.
  • The child appears not to trust adults. E.g. a parent or coach with whom he or she would be expected to have, or once had, a close relationship. The child does not seem able to make friends.
  • The child looks increasingly neglected in appearance or loses or gains weight for no apparent reason
  • Pain or itching, bruising or bleeding in or near genital area.
  • The child shows inappropriate sexual awareness or behaviour for his/her age and sometimes behaves in a sexually explicit way.


Young people and disabled children are particularly vulnerable to abuse and may have difficulties in communicating what is happening to them. Dependency on others for primary needs, such as feeding, clothing and intimate care, may make a young person feel powerless to report abusive treatment. A fear of retribution for "telling" can be a powerful "silencer". Difficulty in identifying an abusive situation or behaviour may allow it to continue.