Together we can stand up to child abuse. There is no excuse for child abuse. Are you concerned that a child is being abused? Visit http://pcand.org for help.
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What is child maltreatment?
When a person responsible for a child’s health and welfare causes physical or mental injury to a child, engages in sexual activity with a child, deprives a child of necessities or allows someone else to harm a child, that is abuse or neglect.
A child has been abused when a caregiver inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child bodily injury, substantial bodily injury or serious bodily injury. Inflicted physical injury most often represents unreasonably severe corporal punishment. This usually happens when a caregiver is frustrated or angry and strikes, shakes or throws the child. Deliberate assaults such as burning, biting, cutting and twisting, etc. are also included.
Sexual abuse involves sexual contact between a child and an adult or significantly older, more powerful person. Sexual abuse may include other exploitative behaviors such as inappropriate sexual comments made to a child, taking or showing sexually explicit photographs, or exposing a child to pornography or adult sexual activity.
Neglect includes inadequate supervision, physical environment, nutrition, clothing, hygiene, medical or educational neglect or psychological maltreatment.
A child is psychologically maltreated when there are consequences to a child related to patterns of behavior by a caregiver that involve rejecting, isolating, threatening, ignoring and/or exposing a child to negative influences, regardless of the adult’s intention in doing so. Children who exhibit emotional or behavioral problems related to the caregiver’s behavior, children who are placed in the middle of disputes between their caregivers and children whose caregiver’s ability to provide protection or supervision is limited (by substance abuse, mental illness, or other reasons) may also be psychologically maltreated. Extreme discipline, confinement (such as being locked in a closet), excessive control of a child’s actions which inhibit growth and development and children’s exposure to domestic violence are additional examples.