What is Child Abuse and Neglect?

3There are different forms of child abuse. These include neglect, sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

Neglect
Child neglect is the continued failure by a parent or caregiver to provide a child with the basic things needed for his or her proper growth and development, such as food, clothing, shelter, medical and dental care and adequate supervision.

Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse is when someone involves a child or young person in a sexual activity by using their power over them or taking advantage of their trust.
Often children are bribed or threatened physically and psychologically to make them participate in the activity.
Child sexual abuse is a crime.

Physical abuse
Physical abuse is a non-accidental injury or pattern of injuries to a child caused by a parent, caregiver or any other person.
It includes but is not limited to injuries which are caused by excessive discipline, severe beatings or shakings, cigarette burns, attempted strangulation and female genital mutilation.
Injuries include bruising, lacerations or welts, burns, fractures or dislocation of joints.
Hitting a child around the head or neck and/or using a stick, belt or other object to discipline or punishing a child (in a non-trivial way) is a crime.

Psychological abuse or harm
Serious psychological harm can occur where the behaviour of their parent or caregiver damages the confidence and self esteem of the child or young person, resulting in serious emotional deprivation or trauma.
Although it is possible for ‘one-off’ incidents to cause serious harm, in general it is the frequency, persistence and duration of the parental or carer behaviour that is instrumental in defining the consequences for the child.
This can include a range of behaviours such as excessive criticism, withholding affection, exposure to domestic violence, intimidation or threatening behaviour.


You can report suspected child abuse or neglect by phoning the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 (TTY 1800 212 936) for the cost of a local call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


For more information including what are some signs of child abuse and neglect see the Family & Community Services link here.

help and support

Domestic and Family Violence is a crime. There is no excuse for violence. If you or someone you know is a victim of violence or abuse, there is help available. If you are in immediate danger (if your life or your children´s life is being threatened) call 000 (triple zero) and ask for the police or for other help ring the Domestic Violence Line on 1800 65 64 63 from anywhere in NSW, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Translators are available.