What is child abuse?

Did you know?

The legislation relating to identifying and responding to abuse is an area that you must be familiar with.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that children are abused. It is very likely that you are going to care for children who are victims of abuse or neglect, so it is important that you know how to deal with these situations.

A person's interpretation of what constitutes abuse can vary greatly. This definition is from the Australian Institute of Family Studies:

'Child abuse is an act by a parent, caregiver, other adult or older adolescent that endangers a child or young person's physical or emotional health or development. Child abuse can be a single incident or a chronic pattern of behaviour over time.'

Department of Health, Government of New South Wales, viewed 26 June 2009

Put simply, child abuse is about a child being harmed. The law states that a child is a person under the age of 18 years. Child abuse can occur through someone doing something harmful or by someone not doing something to provide for or to protect a child. There are five types of child abuse:

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Look at the link below for a background on child abuse, including the different types of abuse and the affect it has on everyone involved.

www.cyh.com Click on Parenting and Child Health, then Family & Relationships. Then look down the list of Topics for Child Abuse.

When you have done this research, write a summary in your own words in your notebook of the reasons why children may be abused.

'From a Child Protection perspective, using the term harm instead of abuse, helps to focus on the child rather than the action of the adult.'

Responding to Child Abuse, Victorian Government. Publishing Service 2002.
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What does child abuse mean to you? If you could put a definition together, what would it be?

Write your thoughts in your notebook.