When children are nurtured, they grow up to be happy and healthy adults. But when they lack an attachment to a caring adult, receive inconsistent nurturing, or experience harsh discipline, the long-lasting consequences can affect their health, well-being and relationships with others.
Child abuse and neglect often takes place in the home and come from a person the child knows well — a parent, relative, babysitter, or friend of the family. There are four major types of child abuse maltreatment. Although any of the forms may be found separately, they often occur together.
- Neglect is failure to provide for a child’s basic needs.
- Physical abuse is physical injury as a result of hitting, kicking, shaking, burning or otherwise harming a child.
- Sexual abuse is any situation where a child is used for sexual gratification. This may include indecent exposure, fondling, rape or commercial exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials.
- Emotional abuse is any patten of behavior that impairs a child’s emotional development and sense of self-worth, including constant criticism threats, and rejection.