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There are various types of child abuse. These include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and institutional abuse.

Physical abuse is characterized by the infliction of physical injury as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, shaking or otherwise harming a child. The parent or caretaker may not have intended to hurt the child; rather, the injury may have resulted from over-discipline or physical punishment.
Emotional abuse may involve the failure to provide a loving environment or adequate care and supervision for the child. It may also involve the care-giver ignoring or rejecting the child. Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse, in which the care-giver belittles, yells at or criticizes the child constantly, and threatens the child.
Sexual abuse is any form of sexual activity between an adult and child where the adult gains sexual gratification from the activity. (It is still considered sexual abuse even if the child also receives sexual pleasure from the activity). This may involve fondling and may or may not involve penile penetration.
Institutional abuse involves endangering a child’s physical, social or psychological welfare. It includes action perpetrated by an institution, or a staff member at the institution, or by the social welfare system against a child or a group of children. Institutions include schools, courts, children’s homes, or other child care institutions, foster homes, health, welfare, or other social service delivery systems.


Child neglect is characterized by failure to provide for the child’s basic needs. Neglect can be physical, medical, emotional or educational.

Physical neglect is the denial of a child’s right to have his or her physical needs met and may involve the failure to provide food, clothing or shelter. Physical neglect may also involve wilful neglect or blatant rejection, as in the case of abandonment. Abandonment can be described as the most extreme form of neglect. Medical neglect is the wilful denial of a child’s right to receive medical attention when needed. It may involve refusal by a care-giver to take a child for immunization or medical attention, for example when the care-giver is aware of the need for such medical attention and when such medical attention is available.
Emotional neglect includes such actions as marked inattention to the child’s needs for affection; refusal of or failure to provide needed psychological care; spouse abuse in the child’s presence; and permission of drug or alcohol use by the child. Educational neglect is the denial of a child’s right to be exposed to a consistent educational environment.
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This website was created by Trevesa DaSilva © 2003