Most injuries are not caused by abuse. But bruises are often the first sign of possible abuse. Suspect physical
abuse of a childor vulnerable adultwhen:
- Any injury cannot be explained or does not match the explanation.
- Repeated injuries occur.
- Explanations change for how the injury happened.
You may be able to prevent further injuries by reporting abuse. Seek help if:
- You suspect child abuse or elder abuse. Call your local child or adult protective agency, police, or a health professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or counselor.
- You or someone you know is a victim of intimate partner violence (IPV).
- You have trouble controlling your anger with a child or other person in your care. Resources are available for help.
Current as of: February 26, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor MD - Emergency Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine