Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child, young person and/or vulnerable adult to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children and vulnerable adults in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children and vulnerable adults to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional development. It may involve conveying to children and vulnerable adults that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child's developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying, causing children and vulnerable adults frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of Emotional Abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child and/or vulnerable adult though it may occur alone.
Neglect is the failure to meet a child's and/or vulnerable adult basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development. Neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- provide adequate food, clothing and shelter
- protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
- ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment It may also include Neglect of, or
- unresponsiveness to, a child's and/or vulnerable adult basic emotional needs.
- ensure adequate supervision
If you are unsure about identifying abuse or wish to check anything regarding your concern then the following websites should be of use: