Child Abuse and Neglect - Topic Overview
What is child abuse and neglect?
abuse means doing something that hurts a child. Neglect means not giving or doing something that a child
- Physical abuse includes hitting, kicking, shaking, pinching, and burning. It may
leave bruises, cuts, or other marks and cause pain, broken bones, or internal
- Emotional abuse is saying or doing things that make a
child feel unloved, unwanted, unsafe, or worthless. It can range from yelling
and threatening to ignoring the child and not giving love and support. It may
not leave scars you can see, but the damage to a child is just as
- Sexual abuse is any sexual contact between an adult and a
child or between an older child and a younger child. Showing pornography to a
child is a type of sexual abuse.
- Neglect happens when a child
does not get the shelter, schooling, clothing, medical care, or protection he
or she needs. Child neglect is just as serious as abuse and is more
Abuse or neglect hurts children in many ways. Young children are at special risk. They
may not grow properly. They may have learning problems. They may feel bad
about themselves and not trust other people. They may be scared or angry.
Sometimes they die.
Children often believe that abuse
or neglect is their fault. They may think that they did something wrong and
deserve what happened. It is up to adults who care to protect them.