Abuse is when a child or young person is mistreated or significantly harmed. Abuse can take many forms:
The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples for each of the categories of abuse and neglect:
- Physical abuse – hitting, slapping, over or misuse of medication, undue restraint, or inappropriate sanctions.
- Emotional / Psychological abuse – threats of harm or abandonment, coercive control, humiliation, verbal or racial abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.
- Sexual abuse – rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the child has not or could not consent and/or was pressured into consenting.
- Financial abuse – this category will be less prevalent for a child but indicators could be:
unusual activity in a bank account by a counter signatory;
not meeting their needs for care and support which are provided through direct payments; or
complaints that personal property is missing.
- Neglect – failure to access medical care or services, negligence in the face of risk taking, failure to give prescribed medication, failure to assist in personal hygiene or the provision of food, shelter, clothing; emotional neglect.
If you, a friend or someone you know is being hurt, treated in a way that makes you feel scared or unsafe, or you feel very alone or unhappy, please tell someone about it so they can try to help you. Talk to someone you can trust, like a teacher or a nurse at your school. They will listen to you and support you, and talk through what can be done to help sort things out.
In a non-urgent situation you can also contact the police on 101.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger then contact the police on 999.
If you don’t trust anyone you know:
Call the NSPCC 0800 800 5000
or call Childline 0800 1111
This post is also available in: Welsh