Child abuse is doing something or failing to do something that results in harm to a child or puts a child at risk of harm. Child abuse can be physical, sexual or emotional. Neglect, or not providing for a child's needs, is also a form of abuse.
Most abused children suffer greater emotional than physical damage. An abused child may become depressed. He or she may withdraw, think of suicide or become violent. An older child may use drugs or alcohol, try to run away or abuse others.
Child abuse is a serious problem. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, call the police or your local child welfare agency.
- Child Abuse and Neglect (Children's Bureau)
- Child Abuse: The Hidden Bruises (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) Also in Spanish
- Understanding Child Trauma (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) Also in Spanish
- What Is Child Abuse and Neglect? Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms (Children's Bureau) - PDF
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Prevention (Children's Bureau)
- Questions and Answers about Memories of Childhood Abuse (American Psychological Association)
Statistics and Research
- Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- CDC Vital Signs: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Child Abuse (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System Glossary (Administration for Children and Families) - PDF
- Going to a Psychologist, Psychiatrist, or Therapist (For Kids) (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- How to Handle Abuse (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish