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Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

North Wales Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service




Child Abuse

Child abuse is the harm or neglect of a child or children by another person, usually an adult. Abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal, sexual or a mix of all of these. Neglect is when a child’s basic needs are not met. Let’s look at these in a bit more detail:

Physical Abuse: This is when a child or young person is hurt physically, through hitting, beating, shaking, burning, biting, pinching or choking. Sometimes children have breaks, cuts and bruises which can be seen.

Sexual Abuse: This is any type of sexual contact between an adult and anyone under the age of 16, or between a younger and a much older child. Sexual abuse can also happen when one person overpowers another, no matter how old they are. The sexual abuse of one family member by another is called Incest.

Emotional or Verbal Abuse: This happens when shouting and anger go too far, or when someone constantly criticises, threatens, humiliates or ignores a child.

Neglect:  Neglect occurs when a child or young person isn’t given proper basic care, such as food, shelter, clothing, medical care, supervision and love.

Child abuse does not just occur in families. Bullying is also a form of abuse. Many people are bullied because of their race, colour, religion, disability, sexuality or because of the way they look. Bullying is NEVER ok!!

What are the effects of abuse?

Being abused can affect children in so many ways. Here are the most common effects:

Abuse is very wrong, and it is against the law.

If you or someone you know is being abused please tell someone. Talk to an adult you trust; a family member, your GP, your school nurse, youth leader or a trusted teacher.

You can call CHILDLINE on 0800 1111, for confidential advice. There is a lot of support out there for children and young people, so please, don’t keep your worries to yourself. You are important and you are special. You do not have to suffer abuse.

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