What is child abuse?
Child abuse or harm is any act committed against a child or young person under 18 years of age which endangers the physical or emotional health and/or development of such person. Child abuse or harm can be a single incident, repeated incidents, or ongoing over time.
Examples of behaviours that are considered to be child abuse:
- physical violence – physical harm or injury, such as bruises, cuts, burns or fractures. It may be caused intentionally or accidentally e.g. as the result of punishment or aggressive treatment
- sexual abuse – involvement of a child in a sexual activity, such as fondling, masturbation, penetration or exposure to child exploitation material or grooming behaviour.
- emotional or psychological abuse – repeated rejection, isolation or threats to frighten a child, such as derogatory name calling, put downs, persistent and deliberate coldness where the child’s emotional development is at serious risk of being impaired.
- neglect – failure to provide a child with the basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, shelter, medical attention or supervision, which has or is likely to significantly impact on the child’s health or development.
For more information on child abuse refer to: