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What to do if you are worried about a child

What is abuse?

Abuse (sometimes known as 'significant harm') is about being mistreated, harmed or abused in some way. Abuse can happen in a number of different ways and is defined in guidance as physical, emotional, neglect or sexual abuse.

Different types of abuse are described below:

Physical Abuse
physical abuse imageWhen an adult deliberately hurts a child, such as hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning or suffocating. 

Emotional Abuse
emotional abuse imageThis would happen, for instance, when a child is all the time being unfairly blamed for everything, or told they are stupid and made to feel unhappy. 
neglect imageWhere a child or young person is not being looked after properly, for example, not getting enough to eat or being left alone in dangerous situations.
Sexual Abuse
sexual abuse imageAn example of sexual abuse would be where a child has been forced to take part in sexual activities or in the taking of rude photos.
bullying imageE.g. calling names, damaging property, stealing, spreading rumours, cyber-bullying, hurting, getting people into trouble. See the young person’s page on bullying here
Domestic Abuse
domestic abuse imageWhen one adult in a family or relationship threatens, bullies or hurts another member of the family e.g. physically, psychologically, emotionally, sexually or financially. See the young person's page on domestic abuse here.


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