Identification of Forms of Abuse

Awareness of what is child abuse is essential to protect children.
There are four main forms of abuse:[1]
    ✓ Physical abuse (involves: hitting, throwing, shaking, squeezing, burning /sometimes by cigarettes/, poisonous and harmful substances /including alcohol/, suffocating and any other physical harm)
    ✓ Emotional abuse (all forms of abuse involve emotional harm but some children may be emotional abuse whilst receiving good physical care. It may include failing to show love and attention for a child such as continuous criticism, ridiculing, and severe, persistent rejection.)
    ✓ Sexual abuse (it is where an adult uses child to satisfy their own sexual needs and involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. Physical activities may include penetrative acts, including fondling, masturbation, or sexual intercourse)
    ✓ Neglect (persistent failure to meet the basic physical, emotional or psychological needs of the child, including: failing to provide food, warmth, clothing and appropriate stimulation.)

The others met often are:
    ✓ Harassment and bullying (e.g. name calling, sarcasm, racist or sexual taunts, physical gestures, interference with personal belongings and physical assaults)

Abused children present various signs and symptoms. It is divided into behavioural and physical indicators of abuse:

    o Physical indicators of physical neglect: [2]
      ▪ Child may be underweight;
      ▪ Clothing may be inappropriate for the weather, and be smelly and dirty;
      ▪ Child may have poor skin tone and dull matted hair; a baby may have a persistent rash from infrequent nappy changing;
      ▪ Child may be constantly hungry, tired and listless;
      ▪ Child has frequent health problems, and is prone to accidents.

    o Behavioural indicators of physical abuse and neglect. Changes in behaviour may include:[3]
      ✓ Being sad, listless, preoccupied or...