What is child abuse?
Child abuse is when a child is harmed by an adult, another child, or a group of adults or children. It can be physical, sexual, financial, psychological and emotional. It doesn't only happen in person, it can also happen online. Sometimes a child may be abused and harmed in multiple ways. It can happen once, or repeatedly over a long period of time. Not providing children with the resources, love and care they need is also a kind of abuse, called neglect.
All types of abuse can have a serious impact on a child, and can affect them for the rest of their lives. However, when children have access to the right support at the right time, they have the best possible chance to go on to lead healthy and fulfilled lives.
If you think a child is being harmed or in immediate danger of being harmed dial 999 or contact your local authority social care department, or the NSPCC.
For more information on specific types of harm and abuse, see the pages below. If you need further support from us helping a child who has experienced abuse or harm, search our services to find out what help is available in your local area.