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What is meant by child abuse and child neglect? – Part 1

Child Abuse at a Glance

• Child abuse is a serious national problem.
• This involves all economic, ethnic, racial, and religious groups.
• Child abuse is the physical, sexual or emotional mistreatment or neglect of a child or children.
• Child abuse can occur in a child’s home, or in the organizations, schools or communities the child interacts with.
• There are four major categories of child abuse: neglect, physical abuse, psychological/emotional abuse, and child sexual abuse.
• Children are abused predominantly by parents.
• Other caregivers (babysitter) are not infrequent offenders.
• The major types of child abuse are physical, emotional, sexual, and neglect.
• Child neglect is the most frequent type of child abuse and the most lethal.
• Prevention (education and counseling) is the best approach for the management of child abuse and neglect.
• All ages of children suffer from child abuse and neglect.
• Girls are somewhat more likely to be abused than boys.

These risk factors include:
• age
• past history of abuse.
• children with learning disabilities, speech/language disorders and mental retardation.
• children with congenital anomalies (malformations) and chronic/recurrent conditions.
• adopted and foster children.

Four broad categories of child abuse are generally recognized:
• Neglect (63%)
• Physical abuse (16%)
• Sexual abuse (10%)
• Emotional abuse (7%)

Physical abuse includes:
• Punching
• Beating
• Kicking
• Biting
• Burning
• Shaking
• Harming the child’s body

Emotional child abuse includes
• rejecting
• isolation
• terrorizing
• ignoring
• corrupting
• verbal assault
• over-pressuring

Sexual abuse includes:
• A child involved in sexual activity for which consent cannot be given.
• Is outside of the victim’s developmental age.
• Is unable to comprehend, and/or “violates the law or social taboos of society.
• Fondling and any form of genital, anal, or oral-genital contact with a child that are unwarranted.
• These acts may occur whether the child is clothed or unclothed.

What is child neglect?

• Neglect is defined as the failure to provide for the shelter, safety, supervision, and nutritional needs of the child.
• Child neglect may be physical, educational, or emotional.
• The assessment of child neglect requires the consideration of cultural values and standards of care.
• It is also the failure to provide the necessities of life may be related to poverty.

Physical neglect includes:
• the refusal or delay in seeking health care.
• abandonment.
• inadequate supervision.
• expulsion from the home.
• refusal to allow a runaway to return home.

Educational neglect includes:
• the allowance of chronic truancy
• failure to enroll a child of mandatory school age in school
• failure to attend to a special educational need

Emotional neglect involves:
• a marked inattention to the child’s needs for affection.
• refusal of or failure to provide needed psychological care.
• spousal abuse or parental substance abuse in the child’s presence.
• permission of drug or alcohol use by the child.

Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect Child Abuse and Neglect Empty Chairs: Much more than a story about child abuse

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