Ronald Mah, MA, licensed marriage and family therapist, defines physical abuse as the act of inflicting injury or allowing injury to result rather than the degree of injury sustained. Any act which results in non-accidental physical injury like unreasonably severe corporal punishment, unjustifiable punishment and intentional and deliberate assault such as burning, biting, cutting, twisting limbs or torture is physical abuse.
Missing clumps of hair, unexplained bruises or injury, bite marks, imprints of objects on the skin, a child wearing excessive clothing to cover his body and self-destructive behavior can be signs of physical abuse. It’s important to note that seeing signs of abuse are not the only indicators in determining if abuse is present and seeing signs of abuse do not always mean a child is being abused and neglected. For example, a child who has a medical condition, like Leukemia or hemophilia, is susceptible to bruising and may appear suspiciously bruised to those who are not familiar with his condition.