All school and college staff should be aware that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. In most cases multiple issues will overlap with one another. Be vigilant for the following signs that a pupil might be subject to one or more of the common types of abuse.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse (eg hitting, throwing, burning or suffocating) may be indicated if a pupil:

  • refuses to discuss, or gives improbable explanations for, injuries

  • has untreated injuries or a lingering illness

  • admits punishment which appears excessive

  • shrinks from physical contact

  • demonstrates a fear of returning home or of parents being contacted

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