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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.

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