About Child Abuse

What is a Children's Advocacy Center?

What is Child Abuse?

Child abuse is harm or threatened harm to a child's health or welfare which can occur through non-accidental physical or mental injury; sexual abuse or attempted sexual abuse; sexual exploitation or attempted sexual exploitation.

What is Child Neglect?

Negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child including the failure to provide adequate food, medical treatment, clothing, or shelter.

Exception: A parent or guardian legitimately practicing his religious beliefs and does not provide medical treatment for a child. This does not preclude a court from ordering the medical services to be provided where the child's health requires it.

Types of Abuse

•  Physical

•   Emotional

•  Sexual

•   Neglect

Physical Abuse

Occurs when a child's body is injured as a result of hitting, kicking, shaking, burning, or other show of force.

Emotional Abuse

•   Results from any form of abuse or neglect

•   Can be associated with verbal abuse, which can harm a child’s self-worth or emotional well-being

Sexual Abuse

Any sexual activity that a child cannot comprehend or consent to includes:

•   Fondling

•   Oral-genital contact

•   Genital and anal intercourse

•   Exhibitionism

•   Voyeurism

•   Exposure to pornography

Neglect

•   Physical neglect -- Failing to provide food, clothing, shelter, or other physical necessities

•   Emotional neglect -- Failing to provide love, comfort, or affection

•   Medical neglect -- Failing to provide needed medical care