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Child Abuse. What is it?

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Child abuse is defined as the physical, emotional, psychological
or sexual maltreatment of children.

There are four major categories of child abuse:

  • neglect

  • physical abuse

  • emotional abuse

  • sexual abuse

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines child maltreatment as,
'any act or series of acts or commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child. '

Examples of acts of commission include physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. Examples of acts of omission include failure to provide (physical, emotional, medical/dental, or educational neglect) or failure to supervise (inadequate supervision, or exposure to violent environments).

Most child abuse happens in the child's home.
A significant portion also occurs in organizations involving children, such as churches, schools, child-care businesses, and residential schools.


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Child AbuseWatch (abusewatch.net).