Child abuse consists of any act of commission or omission that endangers or impairs a child’s physical or emotional health and development. Child abuse includes any damage done to a child which cannot be reasonably explained, and which is often represented by injuries appearing to be non-accidental in nature.


Physical abuse – Any non-accidental injury to a child. This includes but is not limited to, hitting, kicking, slapping, shaking, burning, pinching, hair-pulling, biting, choking, throwing, shoving, whipping, and paddling.

Sexual abuse
– Any sexual act between an adult and a child. This includes but is not limited to, fondling, penetration, intercourse, exploitation, pornography, exhibitionism, child prostitution, group sex, oral sex, or forced observation of sexual acts.

– Failure to provide for a child’s physical needs, including, but not limited to, lack of supervision, inappropriate housing or shelter, inadequate food and water, inappropriate clothing for the weather, abandonment, denial of medical care, and inadequate hygiene.

tional abuse – Any attitude or behavior which interferes with a child’s mental health or social development. This includes, but is not limited to, yelling, screaming, name-calling, shaming, negative comparisons to others, telling them they are “bad, no good, worthless” or “a mistake.” It also includes the failure to provide the aection and support necessary for the development of a childs emotional, social, physical, and intellectual well-being. This includes ignoring, lack of appropriate physical affection (hugs), not saying “I love you,” withdrawal of affection, lack of praise, and lack of positive reinforcement.

If you suspect abuse, but a child has not disclosed it to you, contact the:


National Child Abuse Hotline


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