A former judge in California, Paul Seeman possesses more than 30 years of legal experience, including 24 years running his own firm. In his position as an Alameda County Superior Court judge, Paul Seeman handled dependency cases stemming from child abuse.
Child abuse can be physical, such as by willful infliction of injury, or sexual, such as by assault or exploitation. It can also include mental abuse, negligent treatment that threatens a child’s health or safety, and cruel and inhumane treatment.
Abuse cases are not always evidenced by physical scars, bruises, or broken bones. Warning signs of abuse include: excessive withdrawal; constant fear; crippling anxiety; extreme behavior, such as constant watchfulness; inappropriate clothing, such as sweaters on hot days; problems sitting or walking; knowledge of sexual acts way above his/her age; fear of changing clothes in front of others; poor hygiene; and untreated illness.
You do not have to witness child abuse to report it. The law allows anyone who reasonably suspects that abuse is taking place to inform the authorities. Some people, however, such as school staff, athletic coaches, and pediatric physicians, are duty-bound by law to report incidences or reasonable suspicion of child abuse.