About Child Abuse

bruised boy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines child abuse and neglect as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver (e.g. clergy, coach, teacher) that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child. Abuse comes in many different forms such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect.  It happens more often that you think.  Five children die every day as result of abuse and neglect. 


Child Neglect

Child neglect is the willful or non-willful failure to provide for a child’s basic needs such as adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, or proper supervision that impairs or risks impairment of a child’s health or well-being.

Sourced from New York State Family Court Act - FCT § 1012.

Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse refers to any sexual act with a child by an adult or another child of any age.  It includes, but is not limited to, forcing or encouraging a child to engage in sexual activity, fondling or rubbing the child’s genitals, penetration, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, voyeurism, and using the child for prostitution or for the production of pornographic materials. Sexual Abuse is a crime of secrecy and it is estimated that only 10% of child sex abuse cases are ever reported.

Sourced from New York State Social Services Law - SOS § 473

Child Physical Abuse

Child physical abuse is intentional injury inflicted upon a child or the use of force resulting in bodily injury, pain or impairment, brain trauma or even death.  It may include, but is not limited to, severe shaking, beating, slapping, punching, kicking, burning, or improper physical restraint. 

Sourced from New York State Social Services Law - SOS § 473.

Child Emotional Abuse

Child emotional abuse is the willful infliction of mental or emotional anguish on a child by threat, humiliation, intimidation or other abusive conduct.  This may also occur when a parent fails to provide the understanding, warmth, attention, and supervision the child needs for healthy psychological growth.  Emotional abuse may include, but is not limited to, frightening, isolating, belittling, insulting, rejecting, or constant criticism of a child with no evidence of love, support, or guidance.

Sourced from New York State Social Services Law - SOS § 473.

If you suspect that a child is being abused, call Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-342-3720