WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT?

In general, child abuse or neglect is categorised in four ways.
Physical abuse
This is commonly characterised by physical injury resulting from:

hitting, punching, kicking (e.g., marks from belt buckles, fingers)
shaking (particularly young babies)
burns (e.g., irons, cigarettes)
biting
pulling out hair or
the administration of alcohol or other drugs.
Sexual abuse
This occurs when someone in a position of power to the child uses that
power to involve the child in sexual activity. It can include:

sexual suggestion
exhibitionism, mutual masturbation, oral sex
showing of pornographic material, e.g., DVDs, internet
using children in the production of pornographic material
penile or other penetration of the genital or anal region, or
child prostitution.
Emotional abuse
This tends to be a chronic behavioural pattern directed at a child so that a
child’s self esteem and social competence are undermined or eroded over
time. It can include:

Neglect devaluing ignoring rejecting corrupting isolating terrorising or
chronic or extreme domestic violence in the child’s presence.
This is characterised by the failure to provide for the child’s basic needs.
It may include:

inadequate supervision of young children for long periods of time
failure to provide adequate nutrition, clothing or personal hygiene
failure to provide needed or appropriate health care, or medical
treatment

disregard for potential hazards in the home
forcing the child to leave home early, or
allowing the child to engage in chronic truancy.

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