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Remember, child abuse is any wrongdoing that causes, or is able to cause, significant emotional or physical harm to a child. We have looked at three types but there are many other types of child abuse. The following signs, symptoms and behaviours or indicators do not necessarily mean that a child is being abused but may mean you have a reason to be concerned.

Neglect - This is a form of abuse where a child’s basic needs are not met, for example through a lack of food, medical attention or access to education or poor clothing, housing, hygiene or parenting. Neglect could sometimes be happening as a result of a child being the carer of a family member. Typical signs and symptoms may include always being hungry, poor personal hygiene, delays in development, tiredness and looking ill and underweight.

Radicalisation -This is where children and young people are taught extreme, often violent, ideas based on political, social or religious beliefs. Signs of exposure to radicalisation could be behaviour changes, changes in the way they speak with others or having a new circle of friends, use of extremist terminology, reading material or messages.

Child trafficking - This means recruiting, moving or receiving a child through force, trickery or intimidation to take advantage of them. Signs and symptoms could be a domineering adult accompanying the child all the time and speaking for them. Domineering means to use power, influence and/or authority over others. The child could appear withdrawn, compliant and unkempt, or show little or no use of the English language.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) - means to remove, constrict or otherwise disfigure a girl’s labia or clitoris for non-medical reasons, in most cases before they reach the age of 8. Some communities may use religious, social and cultural reasons to justify FGM, but it is a form of abuse.

Signs and symptoms could range from severe pain and bleeding and chronic infections to psychological, mental health and sexual problems or damage to the reproductive system and infertility. You need to be aware of the risk of girls being taken abroad to carry out FGM and so should be aware if they are taken on extended holidays.

All forms of abuse are likely to create a change in behaviour of the victim. Behaviour changes could mean a child becomes withdrawn, timid, easily startled or maybe boisterous, aggressive, attention-seeking or wanting to please. Depression, anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders and going back to younger behaviour are other possible indicators.

You might also get concerned if a child is not attending school regularly or is being admitted to several different A&E departments or GP drop-in centres. These could be ways for the abuser to cover up how often the child needs medical help. It is important to know that not all children will display the same symptoms and that usually there is more than one type of abuse happening for example, physical and emotional abuse.