You’re looking at a drawing by an eight-year-old girl. That’s her on the left. The smiling boy is her older brother, and the animal is how she drew her mommy. Nobody knew it at the time, but they were both abusing her. When the doctors found out, they looked back at this picture. That’s when they realized the girl was floating, with no arms and no mouth. They say this means she felt helpless and voiceless, a major clue of abuse in drawings.
This is a picture of a volleyball team. It was drawn by a nine-year-old boy. The one in the middle is the coach and the other two are the boy and his friend. A few months later, the school found out the coach was touching the boys where he shouldn’t be. That’s when they noticed that the boy had drawn private parts on the coach and his friend. If only the school had seen it sooner.
Here’s a drawing by an eight-year-old boy. He drew one of his daddy’s friends. The teacher didn’t see anything wrong at the time. Then they found out the man was making the boy do bad things. Looking back at this drawing, the doctors saw how sharp the man’s teeth and fingers were. It matched the way that other abused kids drew those things. Another sign found too late.
This is a piece by an eight-year-old boy. After drawing this in class he presented it to his teacher, who did not notice anything concerning. When the school later discovered that the boy was being abused by a male family member, they noticed the pronounced genitalia in this drawing. If the teacher would have asked the child, "Who is in this picture?" or "Where did you see that?", the abuse likely could have been stopped sooner.
This is a drawing by another young boy. He drew himself on the left and his sister on the right. Sometime later, it came to light that both the boy and his sister were being sexually abused by their father. Notice the frown and tears depicted on the boy’s face, as well as the lack of arms drawn on himself and his sister. According to experts, children who draw themselves without arms are symbolizing their helplessness in stopping the situations they are experiencing.
This is a self-portrait created by a four-year-old girl. It was drawn just days after she was sexually abused by an older male at a neighborhood BBQ. Upon examining the drawing, doctors noted that the girl drew herself without arms, matching the helpless symbolism present in other drawings by abused children. In addition, experts noted her large, blank eyes, which were consistent with the way other children who had been harmed by an adult depicted themselves.
This chilling drawing was created by a seven-year-old girl. Unlike the others featured in our gallery, this particular piece was produced for a psychologist after the girl had already reported sexual abuse at the hands of her father. Upon examining the drawing, the psychologist noted the exaggerated, disproportionate size of the father’s genitals, as well as his cheerful, smiling face.
Also a link to a pamphlet by the Child Abuse Education Foundation that has information about identifying drawing patterns of abused children. Here