Emotional abuse is when a child is deprived of love, warmth and affection or is persistently treated negatively, inconsistently, inappropriately or is rejected. This may include the child being constantly told that they are worthless, unloved or inadequate or the parent or carer having unreasonable and unrealistic expectations of the child's abilities or making the child being made to feel frightened or in danger.
Recognising emotional abuse
Signs of emotional abuse include:
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocation.
Recognising physical abuse
Bruising is a concern when bruises:
Most fractures are treated by a hospital. It is concerning when a child is not taken for treatment if they are suffering pain, swelling or discolouration over a bone or joint. Although it may not always be possible to know whether a child has a fractured bone it is difficult for a parent or carer to be unaware that the child has been hurt. It is rare for children under the age of one to sustain a fracture accidentally.
It can be difficult to distinguish between a burn or scald that has been caused accidentally or non-accidentally. As with fractures all burns and scalds should receive medical treatment.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
Sexual activities may involve physical contact such as sexual intercourse, buggery or non-penetrative acts.
Sexual activities may also include non-contact activities like involving children in looking at pornography, creating pornography, watching sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Recognising sexual abuse
Signs of sexual abused include:
Neglect is when there is a constant failure to meet the child's basic physical or psychological needs in a way that is likely to cause serious damage to the child's health or development. Neglect can include failing to provide a child with adequate food, shelter or clothing or failing to protect a child from harm or danger or failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
Signs of neglect include:
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