There are 4 types of child abuse:
- physical abuse
- sexual abuse
- emotional abuse
Child abuse can be a single incident or several incidents that take place over time. According to the Child Protection Act 1999, what matters is not the number of incidents, but whether the child:
*You can read more about the definition of harm in the Act: Child Protection Act 1999 (PDF, 1MB)
Physical abuse is when a child suffers physical trauma or injury that is not accidental. It doesn't always leave visible marks. What matters most is the act itself that caused the trauma or injury.
Child sexual abuse is when an adult, a stronger child or a teenager uses their power or authority to involve a child in a sexual activity. It can be physical, verbal or emotional and can include:
There are ways you can help to protect a child from sexual abuse, including:
Find out more about child sexual abuse.
Emotional abuse happens when a child's social, emotional or intellectual development is damaged or threatened. It can include constant:
Neglect is when a child's health and development are affected because their basic needs are not met. These needs include:
Signs of child abuse or neglect
Signs of child abuse
Child abuse may be the cause if a child:
Signs of child neglect
Children could be neglected if they:
Effects of harm
Children may experience many short-term and long-term problems as a result of being harmed, including:
Text © The State of Queensland 2012, About Child Abuse, https://www.qld.gov.au/community/getting-support-health-social-issue/about-child-abuse/ Last updated: 17 September 2012; Viewed 26 October 2012.
© S. D. Goeldner, 2012. Last updated August, 2019.
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