Child abuse warning signs aren’t always clear

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LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 News)- The Logan man convicted of murdering his 5-year-old niece is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday afternoon. 

Alex Whipple admitted to killing Lizzy Shelley and faces life in prison. 

Alexander Whipple _1559607742762

We wanted to know –are there potential warning signs that could’ve prevented her death? Child abuse prevention advocates say in most cases its unclear why the perpetrators abuse.

There are some things you can look for. 

Prevent Child Abuse Utah says in most cases the child knows the abuser. 

“Child abuse crosses all types of social economic and ethnic line,” Executive Director Laurieann Thorpe said. 

There are characteristics to watch out for. 

“Some inappropriate behavior might be frequently initiating alone time with the child, giving special treatment or gifts to the child, or encouraging keeping secrets with children,” Thorpe said. 

Thorpe says child abuse has a lasting impact on everyone involved and says its unclear why perpetrators do what they do. 

“Listen to your ‘uh-oh’ feeling it doesn’t have to cross all the way to inappropriate,” Thorpe said. 

For survivors who may be suffering in silence, click here for resources:

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