What is child abuse?
Abuse (also called Significant Harm) can happen to a child at any age. Abusers can be adults but not just parents or carers, abuse often occurs within a relationship of trust e.g. a teacher, carer, family friend or youth leader.
Abuse can happen to a child or young person at any age, from birth to when they have left school. It can happen in well-off families or poor families, from any ethnic background. It can happen children and young people whether or not they have a disability.
Abuse can happen because of the way adults or other children and young people behave towards a child or young person. It can also result from adults failing to provide proper care for the children they look after. A child or young person can suffer different kinds of abuse at the same time.
According to the NSPCC:
‘Child abuse is any action by another person – adult or child – that causes significant harm to a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional, but can just as often be about a lack of love, care and attention. We know that neglect, whatever form it takes, can be just as damaging to a child as physical abuse.
An abused child will often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties in their lives. It often happens over a period of time, rather than being a one-off event. And it can increasingly happen online.
We estimate that over half a million children are abused in the UK each year.’
According to the law, there are 4 main types of abuse that could cause harm or neglect. These are:
Connected issues include
Domestic Abuse – when one adult in a family or relationship threatens, bullies or hurts another family member e.g. physically, psychologically, emotionally, sexually or financially.
AFRUCA has produced the “Safeguarding Africans Children in the UK” series of publications to highlight different safeguarding issues and to assist members of the African community in the UK to know more about different forms of child abuse and how to identify the signs so children can be safe and be better protected found at www.afruca.org/