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Can children and young people recognise abuse and neglect?

In the short video below, Jeanette Cossar explains the recognition part of the iCAN wheel.



Recognition relates to whether a child realises that a situation is abusive.

The outer circle of the framework indicates that a child may move along a spectrum from not recognising to clearly recognising that a situation is abusive or neglectful. Recognition may develop as a child grows older and is able to take a broader perspective and compare their own situation with that of others.

Partial recognition can involve emotional awareness that things are not right before a child can articulate it to themselves or to others.

Recognition often occurs as a result of interacting and talking to others. Clear recognition therefore does not necessarily happen before telling or getting help. Sometimes a child does not recognise that what happened was abuse until years later.