What is Child Abuse?
Child abuse is the mistreatment or neglect of a child which results in non-accidental or unreasonable harm. Child abuse crosses all racial, religious, cultural, educational, and economic lines.
The majority of child abuse is committed by someone the child knows and trusts, although abuse can also be committed by strangers.
There are many forms of child abuse including:
Behaviors which physically harm a child such as hitting, burning, pinching, or biting.
Any forced, exploitative or coercive sexual contact with a child. This may include rape, molestation, pornography or pornographic images, or forced prostitution.
Emotional abuse refers to behaviors which impair a child’s sense of worth and emotional development. Such behaviors can include language directed at the child such as profanity, belittling, or threats.
Neglect of a child is failure to provide a child with shelter, nutrition, clothing, or medical attention. Neglect is different from poverty.
What are signs that a child may be experiencing abuse?
A change in a child’s behavior, as well as physical marks on a child’s body can alert adults to possible abuse.
Other signs may be lying, anxiety, bed wetting, depression, nightmares, academic failure, self inflicted injuries, being sexually mature for their age, hyperactivity, assaulting other children, being overly affectionate, etc.
What do I do if I suspect a child is being abused?
Call the child abuse hotline 1(800) 552-7096.