In general, leading indicators of restavèk treatment include work expectations equivalent to adult servants and long hours that surpass the cultural norm for children’s work at home, inferior food and clothing compared to other children in the home, sleeping on the floor rather than in a bed, no time out for play, and a common expectation that the restavèk child must use formal terms of address when speaking to social superiors including virtually all other household members.
This expectation applies to restavèk relations to other children in the household, even children younger than the restavèk child, e.g., Msye Jak (“Mister Jacques” rather than simply Jacques).
Education is also an important indicator in detecting child domesticity. Children in domesticity may or may not attend school, but when they do attend, it is generally an inferior school compared to other children. Restavek children are also more likely to be overage for their grade level, and their rates of non-enrollment are higher than non-restavèk children in the home.