An Overview of Child Abuse
An Overview Of Child Abuse, It's Types and Signs

Globally, child abuse affects at least 1.7 billion children yearly, but the numbers could be much more prominent due to underreporting.

The effects on children who fall under this can last for life and may deeply suffer emotionally than physically.

So, how do you recognize the types and signs of abuse in children living in your homes and societies?  Firstly, let’s understand what “Child Abuse” means:


Child abuse refers to any emotional, sexual, or physical maltreatment or neglect by an adult in a role of responsibility.

It can also be defined as any form of maltreatment or abuse by an adult which is violent or threatening to the child.

Also, it includes neglecting and not providing basic amenities

and needs for the child to grow emotionally, physically, and mentally.

Types Of Child Abuse

According to the Centre For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), the following are the particular types:

  • Physical Abuse.
  • Sexual Abuse.
  • Emotional Abuse.
  • Child Neglect.

Physical Abuse:

It’s the intentional use of physical force to harm or maltreat a child.

It includes the following:

  1. Burning of the skin.
  1. Excessive punching and slapping.
  1. Non-consensual tickling.
  1. Withholding sleep, food, and medication.
  1. Poisoning.

Signs Of Physical Abuse

  1. Injuries that may reveal a pattern.
  1. Appearing to be frightened of a particular individual.
  1. Flinching when touched.
  1. Being observant and expecting something unpleasant to happen.
  1. Black eyes, broken bones, and difficulties in walking.

Sexual Abuse:

This is any sexual activity or violation with a child.

Examples include:

  1. Oral genital contact.
  1. Exposing a child to sexual activities.
  1. Showing or flashing one’s genital to the child.
  1. Observing or sexually filming a child.
  1. Sexual trafficking, harassment, and child prostitution.

Signs Of Sexual Abuse

  1. Inappropriate sexual behavior for the child’s age.
  1. The child discloses they were sexually abused.
  1. Genital or anal pain.
  1. Frightened and easily distracted.
  1. Pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STI).

Emotional Abuse:

This is when an adult consistently belittles or behaves in a way that tells a child they are worthless, inadequate, and unloved.

Examples include:

  1. Ridiculing what they say.
  1. Giving a child “silent treatment” as punishment.
  1. Limiting physical contact with other children.
  1. Constantly shouting and blaming them.
  1. Emotional blackmail.

Signs Of Emotional Abuse

  1. Loss of interest and decrease in school performance.
  1. Loss of self-confidence and esteem.
  1. Depression or anxiety disorders.
  1. Loss of previously acquired developmental skills.
  1. Withdrawal from social and recreational activities.

Child Neglect:

This is a failure to provide basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical care for a child by parents or guardians.

Examples include:

  1. Locking a child in a room or closet.
  1. Leaving a child in a situation where they experience emotional or physical danger.

Signs Of Child Neglect

  1. Poor personal hygiene.
  1. Hoarding or stealing food.
  1. Poor record of school attendance.
  1. Poor growth.
  1. Lack of supply that meets physical needs.


These signs are hard to spot, but using insights gained from this article could help you notice and report abuse done to a child in your home, society, and schools.

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