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What is abuse

There are lots of different types of abuse including:

Physical abuse

When an adult deliberately hurts a child, such as hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning or suffocating.

Emotional abuse

This would happen, for instance, when a child is being unfairly blamed for everything, all the time, or told they are stupid and made to feel unhappy.

Sexual abuse

An example of sexual abuse would be where a child has been forced to take part in sexual activities or in the taking of rude photos.


Calling names, damaging property, stealing, spreading rumours, cyberbullying, hurting, getting people into trouble etc. (For more information visit the section on bullying)

Domestic abuse and violence

When someone aged 16 or over in a family or relationship threatens, bullies or hurts another adult, physically, psychologically, emotionally, sexually or financially (for more information visit the section on healthy relationships).


Where a child is not being looked after properly, for example, not getting enough to eat or being left alone in dangerous situations.