Warning Signs

What is Child Abuse?

To help prevent child abuse, you need to understand what it is. It’s any mistreatment of a child that results in harm or injury. There are four basic types of child abuse, though children often experience more than one kind of abuse.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse includes actions such as beating, burning, or punching a child.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse may involve criticizing, insulting, rejecting, or withholding love from a child.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse includes rape, touching or fondling, or involving a child in pornography.


Neglect includes failure to provide for a child’s basic physical, medical, or emotional needs. Leaving a young child home alone or failing to provide needed medical care may also be considered neglect.