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What Is Abuse?



Physical Abuse

When an adult deliberately hurts a child, such as hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning or suffocating.


Emotional Abuse

When an adult unfairly blames a child for thing, or calls the child names, doesn’t spend time with them, include them in activities, or makes them feel unhappy most of the time


Sexual Abuse

When a child has been forced to take part in sexual activities or take and share rude or naked photos



When a child experiences name calling, has their things damaged, is stolen from, has rumours spread about them, is bullied online by messages or social media, being hurt, or being gotten in to trouble for things they didn’t do


Domestic Abuse

When one adult in a family or relationship threatens, bullies or hurts another adult, this could be by physically hurting them, emotionally hurting them by calling them names or making them feel sad or scared most of the time, sexually assaulting them, or withholding or taking money from them



Where adults are not caring for children properly. They might not give them enough to eat, make sure they are clean or warm or have clothes that fit, leave them alone in dangerous situations or talking to them badly or not at all. Adults might not make sure the child goes to school or to health appointments if they need them.


Spotting the signs of child abuse and neglect

To spot the signs of child abuse or neglect, look for changes in: 

    • Appearance – such as frequent unexplained injuries, consistently poor hygiene, matted hair, unexplained gifts, or a parent regularly collecting children from school when drunk
    • Behaviour – such as demanding or aggressive behaviour, frequent lateness or absence from school, avoiding their own family, misusing drugs or alcohol, or being constantly tired
    • Communication – such as sexual or aggressive language, self-harming, becoming secretive and reluctant to share information or being overly obedient