Child abuse

Date Published: 
Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Dr Bronwyn Rosie discusses the prevalence of child abuse in New Zealand and dealing with an abuse or neglect case in the community.



  • 01:00 How common is child abuse
  • 02:44 Sexual abuse
  • 03:51 Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • 05:25 Population risk
  • 07:31 Screening for child abuse
  • 09:08 Red flags
  • 16:18 What to do when concerned
  • 19:25 Urgent admission
  • 22:15 Neglect and abuse
  • 25:24 Self-care
  • 27:58 Take-home messages


Take-home messages

  • Any injury can be inflicted, (although most aren’t).
  • Unless there is a plausible history, these injuries are concerning:
    -    ANY bruising on an immobile infant
    -    Bruising in unusual places (ears, genitalia, neck, back, abdomen)
    -    Patterned bruising
    -    Burns in young children
    -    Multiple bruises
  • Seriously injured children can present as non-specifically unwell irritable, poorly feeding infant.
  • If you are concerned about a child, consult others.
  • Discussing concerns about abuse with a family is difficult.
  • Know your organisation’s child protection policy.




Dr Bronwyn Rosie
General Paediatrician

Bronwyn is a General Paediatrician at Starship Children’s Health and has worked in paediatrics since 2002, providing care to children and young people from the Auckland, Counties-Manukau, and Waitemata District Health Board areas. She has worked at Te Puaruruhau since June 2016, a specialist team at ADHB which provides care for children and young people where there are concerns about abuse or neglect. Bronwyn is a member of the Child Protection Special Interest Group of the Paediatric Society of New Zealand.

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This presentation is intended for qualified health practitioners professional development and should not be relied upon for any other purpose. Any opinions offered are those of the presenter or other speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of Goodfellow Unit.