Understanding Child Abuse

What is Child Abuse?



Child abuse is the ill-treatment of children by adults or older children.
There are several types of child

abuse. These include:

  • Neglect
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse

  • Neglect:

    The failure , intentional or unintentional, of parents or guardians
    to provide food, shelter, clothing, health

    care, education, love and/or nurturing to a child.



    Some Signs of Neglect: 

    Some Behaviours of a Neglected Child:
  • Unkempt appearance 
  • Lack of medical or dental care
  • Poor hygiene 
  • Abandonment 
  • Consistent hunger
  • Begs for food 
  • Steals 
  • Lack of interest 
  • Tired and listless 
  • Passive or aggressive 
  • Poor attendance at school 
  • Rocking 
  • Isolation 
  • Depression 




    Emotional Abuse:

    The repeated rejection and humiliation of a child, constant negative
    communication, withholding of love

    and affection and the ultimate destruction of the child's self-esteem.



    Some Signs of Emotional Abuse:
    Some Behaviours of an Emotionally Abused Child:
  • Physical problems resulting from stress
  • Poor performance at school
  • Low self-esteem
  • Low confidence
  • Constantly putting self down


  • Depression
  • Excessively passive or aggressive

  • Sleep problems
  • Slow development



    Physical Abuse:

    The intentional physical injury or pattern of injuries caused by a parent,
    guardian or caregiver.


    Some Signs of Physical Abuse:
    Some Behaviours of a Physically Abused Child:
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Burns
  • Fractures
  • Other injuries
  • Hiding or lying about injuries

  • Afraid and timid
  • Afraid to go home
  • Resists physical contact
  • Violent to others or self
  • Lack of trust
  • Depression



    Keeping Your Child Safe:


    • Never leave your child alone, even in a car
    • Listen to your child when he/she says that he/she does not want to be with
    • Get to know your child's friends/activities
    • Be cautious if someone shows excessive interest in your child

    • Be aware of changes in your child's behaviour
    • Do not dress your child in clothes that display your child's name. Strangers
      could pretend to know your child, giving the child a false sense of security
    • Be sure that your childs school or nursery does not allow anyone other
      than yourself or someone you have identified to collect
    • your child from school
    • Talk to your child about who to talk to or call if lost or separated from
      you when away from home
    • Listen to your child

    What every child should hear:

    • I'm so lucky to have you
    • You're a great helper
    • I like it when you try hard
    • Let's talk about it
    • I'm sorry

    • You're very special to me
    • Thank you for your help
    • I love you

    For parents, If you experience any of the following, please seek

    • You feel lonely and isolated with no one to turn to
    • You feel nervous and unable to cope
    • You feel you have no control
    • You feel that you are not a good parent
    • You are depressed
    • Your problems seem overwhelming
    • You're afraid of what you might do to your child
    • You sometimes hurt your child
    • You experience sexual feelings toward your child

    • You suspect your child or another child may be experiencing abuse


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