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Child abuse is more than bruises and broken bones. While physical abuse might be the most visible, other types of abuse, such as emotional abuse, neglect and sexual abuse, also leave deep, lasting scars.

More than 800,000 children are confirmed as victims of abuse or neglect each year in the U.S.

  • Neglect is the most common form of child maltreatment, followed by physical abuse.


  • Younger children (ages 0-6) are the most vulnerable to abuse.


  • One in three girls and one in five boys will be sexually assaulted before they reach the age of 18.


  • Perpetrators often consist of family members, friends, and acquaintances. 95% of all victims know their perpetrators.


Disclosure of child sexual abuse is a process. It is estimated that only one in ten child victims disclose abuse. There are a large percentage of children who do not disclose abuse until adulthood, if ever.


Some consequences of child sexual abuse include fear, loneliness, self-blame, lack of trust,  poor self-esteem, anger, and mental health issues.

What is child abuse and neglect?

When a parent, guardian, or custodian inflicts or allows the infliction of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, neglect, exploitation, or abandonment.


  • Physical abuse includes non-accidental physical injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns, cuts, or other injuries.


  • Sexual abuse occurs when sex acts are performed with children. Using children in pornography, prostitution, or other types of sexual activity is also sexual abuse.


  • Neglect occurs when children are not given necessary care for illness or injury. Neglect also includes leaving young children unsupervised or alone, locked in or out of the house, or without adequate clothing, food, or shelter. Allowing children to live in a very dirty house which could be a health hazard, may also be considered neglect.


  • Emotional abuse of a child is evidenced by severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or improper aggressive behavior as diagnosed by a medical doctor or psychologist and caused by the acts or omissions of the parent or caretaker.


  • Exploitation means using a child by a parent, guardian, or custodian for material gain.


  • Abandonment means the failure of the parent to provide reasonable support and to maintain regular contact with the child, including providing normal supervision, when such failure is intentional and continues for an indefinite period.



Types of Child Abuse


There are four commonly recognized forms of child abuse.


  • Physical Abuse is characterized by any non-accidental physical injury that results from punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting, burning, shoving, etc.


  • Sexual Abuse is any sexual acts involving a child, including sexual acts between children.


  • Neglect occurs when there is a failure to provide for a child's physical needs.  This includes lack of supervision, inappropriate housing, inadequate provision of food, inappropriate clothing, abandonment, or denial of medical care.


  • Emotional Abuse is an attitude or behavior which interferes with a child's mental health or social development.


Domestic Violence / Relationship Abuse

Healthy relationships can be hard. Each person has their own identity, likes, dreams, desires, goals, and expectations. Relationships can range from ones you have with your friends at school or at work, in the community, or someone you might be dating, romantically involved with or married

How we communicate our expectations is critical to having healthy relationships. Healthy relationships are based on EQUALITY. Each person must balance their role in order to keep the relationship healthy. Abusive relationships are patterns of controlling behaviors that someone uses against their partner. The core of this abuse is POWER and CONTROL. 

Types of Relationship Abuse


Social / Digital Abuse

Monitoring social media, posting abusive messages, deciding who you can be "friends" with, making you check in via text. Sending/receiving inappropriate pictures



Anger/Emotional Abuse

Verbally putting you down, making you feel bad about yourself, making you think you're crazy and the one who is wrong, playing mind games, humiliating you, making you feel guilty. Telling you they are "joking" or simply just messing around.



Peer Pressure

Threatening to expose someone's weakness or spread rumors. Telling malicious lies about an individual to peers. Coercing you into doing something because others are doing it.


Threats or Intimidation

Making someone afraid by using looks, gestures, actions, smashing things, destroying property. Making threats to do something to hurt or harm another. Threatening to leave, commit suicide, drop charges making you do illegal things




Making light of the abuse and not taking concerns about it seriously. Saying the abuse did not happen. Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior. Blaming yourself for the abuse.



Physical Abuse

Any physical contact that is hurtful and unwanted. Hitting slapping, grabbing, pushing, shoving, tripping, pinching, biting, withhold of food or sleep, pulling hair, abandoning you, throwing things at you, pinning you down, choking, spitting on you, preventing you from leaving.




Treating someone like a servant, making all the decisions, acting like the boss. Telling you what you can and cannot do, wear, hang out with.



Isolation or Exclusion

Controlling what you do, where you go, who your friends are. Reads your messages, texts, emails without permission. Uses jealousy to justify actions. Limit outside involvement. 

Cycle of Abuse
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