What is Child Abuse?

The term 'child abuse' refers to an array of reprehensible actions or omissions perpetrated by a parent, caregiver, or any other adult, which lead to actual harm or the possibility of harm to a child.

Child abuse can manifest in various ways, encompassing physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect.

Physical abuse implies deliberate harm to a child's body, which could involve inflicting bodily injury such as punching, kicking, burning, or shaking. Sexual abuse, on the other hand, refers to any sexual act between an adult and a child, whether it involves sexual touching, penetration, or exposure.

Emotional abuse, meanwhile, pertains to the use of speech or conduct that diminishes a child's self-worth or mental well-being, including instances of derogation, intimidation, or isolation. Neglect denotes a caregiver or parent's failure to provide the essential needs of a child, such as shelter, clothing, food, and medical attention.

Child abuse has grave implications for a child's physical and emotional state, with long-lasting ramifications. Various countries have enacted statutes obliging certain professions, such as teachers, medical professionals, and social workers, to report any suspicions of child abuse to law enforcement and social services.

Consequently, such reports might trigger investigations by child welfare agencies and law enforcement, potentially leading to criminal charges being filed against the abuser.