What is Child Abuse?

Let´s talk about child abuse

Child abuse is not just physical violence directed at a child. It is any form of maltreatment by an adult, which is violent or threatening for the child. This includes neglect. Are complex problems rooted in unhealthy relationships and environments?

When child abuse occurs in the home and the abuser is, for example, the child´s parent or caregiver, this is a form of Domestic Violence.
But children are sometimes abused by other adults on whom they are dependent, such as day nursery workers, teachers, and sports coaches. Sometimes abuse is intentional, but not always. For example, when parents or caregivers are unable to cope with the care of the child, this can result in dysfunctional behavior and consequently abuse and/or neglect.

Children who experience abuse, neglect, and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are at increased risk for negative health consequences and certain chronic diseases as adults.

  • Protecting children against violence is a path towards more peaceful and inclusive societies.
  • Policies and programs that are supportive of children and families can help prevent such abuse and neglect. It will take individual and collective action to right this global wrong.
  • Children, parents, teachers, and community members need to be educated to recognize violence in all its forms and empowered to speak out and report violence safely.
  • It is crucial to establish national plans to reduce violence against children, which incorporate the education, social welfare, justice, and health systems, as well as the communities and the children themselves.

Safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments are essential to preventing child abuse and neglect. Additionally, policies and programs that are supportive of children and families can greatly help to prevent abuse and neglect.