Abuse is maltreatment. It can be physical, such as hurting the body,
or it may be emotional, sexual, or even financial. Injury from abuse may occur
to children or vulnerable adults or among spouses.
Suspect physical abuse when:
An injury can't be explained or doesn't match
Repeated injuries occur.
change for how an injury happened.
You may feel uneasy if your health professional brings up the issue
of abuse. Health care providers have a professional duty and legal obligation
to evaluate the possibility of abuse. It is important to consider this
possibility, especially if there were no witnesses to an injury.
If you suspect abuse, seek help. You can call the local child or
adult protective agency, police, or clergy or a health professional such as a
doctor, nurse, or counselor.
If you think your child has been abused, there are resources available to help.
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Current as of
December 4, 2012
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
December 04, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this