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What Is Child Abuse?

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  • Approximately 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused by the time they reach the age of 18. For boys, the rate is about 1 in 6.
  • Child abusers are usually family members, friends or babysitters. Cases of abuse by a stranger are very rare.
  • The highest victimization rate was for children aged 0-3.

What is Child Abuse?

There are primarily three types of child abuse; sexual, physical and neglect:

Sexual abuse occurs when predators use children for sexual gratification or expose them to sexual activities. Sexual abuse includes oral sex and vaginal or anal penetration, but it also includes kissing or fondling or any inappropriate touching, or even exposure to sexual activities.

Child pornography is a form of sexual abuse. Child Pornography is any material depicting a child under the age of 18 years engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of a prohibited sexual act. Sexual exploitation of a child involves the creation, dissemination or possession of child pornography. Sexual exploitation includes photographing, videotaping, depicting on a computer or filming child pornography. Dissemination or possession of child pornographic material includes any book, magazine, pamphlet, slide, photograph, film, videotape, computer depiction or other material.

Physical abuse includes deliberate acts of violence that injure or even kill children. Indicators of physical abuse include unexplained bruises, broken bones, or burn marks on a child.

Shaken Baby Syndrome is a type of physical abuse. Shaken Baby Syndrome is caused by the violent shaking of an infant or young child resulting in possible brain damage, paralysis, seizures, loss of hearing, learning disabilities or death.

Neglect cases include physical neglect such as a parent's failure to provide adequate food, clothing or shelter, and emotional neglect where a parent fails to meet a child's basic needs for affection and comfort. Neglect could also reflect a parent's failure to provide medical treatment to a child.

TO REPORT A CASE OF SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE CALL 1-800-932-0313

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