The Doctor (pisica) wrote in little_details,
The Doctor

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Physical evidence of child abuse

I have not searched for this because it's pretty specific, not really searchable that I can tell, and not something I want to be reading about in gory detail (given the sorts of webpages I suspect I would find). :(

As the entry title says, my question relates to physical evidence of child abuse. It's a mild example, as child abuse goes, but I am putting it under a cut.

The situation is that I have two girls, ages 4 and 11, who are not entirely aware of what's going on around them (it's April 1945 and the Russians, who have been bombing, are known to be within a few days of marching into Germany) but are definitely picking up on the stress and despair of the adults around them. The 11-year-old is clinging to 'do what we're told and everything will be okay and go back to normal' as her primary defence mechanism.

The 4-year-old is in a bathtub and has just been told by the 11-year-old not to splash water on the floor. Being four, and stressed, she does this anyway. The 11-year-old hauls her out of the tub and smacks her. I don't want this to cause serious injury, but rather the sort of damage a frantically worried 11-year-old might cause if she lashes out at a little sister.

What I want to know is what sort of physical evidence there would be a) immediately and b) several hours later. Even just 'the skin flushed red' for the former would be good to know, and any bruising that might result for the latter. [ETA: I guess if there's any major bruising, then it would be useful to know how that proceeds over the next few days.]

For the 'hauling out of the tub' part, I'm envisioning the main grasp on the little girl's upper arm - probably as close to the shoulder as possible - and the other hand grasping either her wrist or her ear. (Injury to wrist and ear happens more than once in the book so it would be a way to tie it in.) [ETA: so if they're facing each other, the older girl's right hand could grasp the little girl's upper left arm, so her left {weaker} hand might be holding the little girl's right wrist or ear/earlobe.]

For the smacking part, I'm pretty much thinking a whack on her bottom, though the little girl might try to dodge or crouch - she's gone back to sucking her thumb at this point so might try to curl up - so her back is also a target. She is, of course, naked.

Thanks for any advice. I'm feeling a bit ill about writing this, but it really seems the best way to show just how degraded everything is becoming.
Tags: ~medicine: injuries (misc)
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