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Experts explain how to spot child abuse

By Brianna Bodily | Posted - Aug 30th, 2014 @ 11:22am



OGDEN — A day after a Utah man was arrested for child abuse homicide, and a Utah woman arrested for the attempted murder of her baby, experts explain how to spot the signs of abuse early.

Trina Taylor, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Utah, said when it comes to identifying abusers there is no hard and fast rule to follow.

“No one has the name 'abuser' across their forehead. Abuse happens in every demographic, every religion every race.” Taylor said. “What we really have to do is watch for signs that the child might display.”

She said you might see your child become withdrawn or even flinch when around adults. In cases of physical abuse, unusual bruises on the soft parts of a child’s body are typical giveaways.

"Bruises on the arms, on the sides, the buttocks, or anywhere on the trunk — those are the signs it is intentional injury, and those are the signs it really needs to be reported," Taylor said.


Bruises on the arms, on the sides, the buttocks, or anywhere on the trunk — those are the signs it is intentional injury, and those are the signs it really needs to be reported.

–Trina Taylor, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Utah


But even when the signs are obvious, Taylor said abuse frequently goes unreported.

"We get nervous, and we're scared and we wonder what's going on, but we don't make the call," she said.

Stil, Taylor said warning authorities could make all the difference in a child’s life.

“It’s us being willing to step in and be brave enough to make that phone call: call the police, call DCPS, you know, ask them if they need help," she added.

If you worry about abuse in your home, or find yourself losing control, Taylor said there is always a safe solution.

“With the Safe Haven Law there is a place to call and there is a way to relinquish an infant without any kind of legal liability back towards the mom,” Taylor said. “There are other things that we have in our community, like the family support center. There are thirteen throughout the state and they have crisis nurseries where you can drop your children off — free of charge — and they will be safely cared for.

For more information about the Safe Haven law, check out: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=968&sid=29709975

To find Family Support Centers in Utah check out: http://www.familysupportcenter.org/crisisNursery.php


Brianna is a reporter and weekend anchor for KSL News Radio. Contact her at: bbodily@ksl.com or twitter @BriannaBodily

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