Child abuse happens when a child's parent or other person in charge harms or neglects a child.
What are the types of child abuse?
In general, there are four major types of child abuse:
- physical abuse
- sexual abuse
- emotional abuse
What is physical child abuse?
Physical abuse could result from a parent or person in charge causing physical injury to a child, or failing to adequately supervise a child or from a pattern of neglect of the child. Here are some examples of physical abuse:
A child who is physically abused may:
- have burns, bite marks, cuts, bruises, or welts in the shape of an object
- not want to go home
- be afraid of adults
What is sexual abuse?
Sexual abuse happens when a parent or other person in charge sexually molests or uses a child for sexual purposes or knowingly fails to protect a child from sexual abuse. Here are some examples of sexual abuse:
- any sexual act between an adult and a child, including intercourse
- exposing a child to adult sexual activity
- sexual exploitation through child prostitution or child pornography
A child who is sexually abused may:
- have an inappropriate knowledge of sexual acts
- be very compliant or extremely aggressive
- be afraid of a certain person or a family member
- have difficulty walking or sitting
What is emotional abuse?
Emotional abuse occurs when a parent or other person in charge causes emotional harm or fails to protect a child from emotional harm that results from verbal abuse, mental abuse and psychological abuse.
Here are some examples of emotional abuse:
- yelling at, screaming at, threatening, frightening, or bullying a child
- humiliating the child, name-calling, making negative comparisons to others, or saying things like: "You're no good. You're worthless. You're bad. Having you was a mistake."
- showing little to no physical affection (such as hugs) or words of affection (praise or saying "I love you.")
- saying that everything is the child's fault.
- withdrawing attention, giving the child the "cold shoulder"
- confining a child in a closet or a dark room, or tying the child to a chair for long periods of time
- allowing the child to be present during violent behavior of others, including the physical abuse of others
A child who is emotionally abused may:
- show signs of serious anxiety, depression or withdrawal
- show self-destructive or aggressive behaviour
- show delays physical, emotional or mental development
What is neglect?
Neglect happens when a child's parent or other person in charge does not provide for a child's physical, developmental, emotional or psychological needs.
Here are some examples of neglect:
- failing to provide:
- proper food
- clothing suitable for the weather
- a home that is clean and safe
- medical care, as needed
- failing to provide emotional support, love and affection
A child who is neglected may:
- not wear clothing that's suitable for the weather
- be dirty or unbathed
- be very hungry
- not be properly supervised
These are only some examples and signs of child abuse. You can find out more information by visiting the following websites: