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Child Abuse

What is Child Abuse?

Child abuse is any act of maltreatment of a child by a parent or guardian that results in injury or harm. The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act defines the main types of abuse.

Emotional abuse is verbal attacks on a child's sense of self, repeated humiliation or rejection. Exposure to violence, drugs, alcohol abuse or severe conflict in the home, forced isolation, restraint or causing a child to be afraid much of the time may also cause emotional harm. Emotional abuse is usually part of a pattern of how the child is being treated.

Physical abuse is the intentional use of force on any part of a child's body that results in injuries. It may be a single incident or a series or pattern of incidents.

Neglect is any lack of care that causes serious harm to a child's development or endangers the child in any way. Failure to meet the child's day-to-day basic physical needs includes not providing adequate nutrition, clothing, shelter and health care; appropriate supervision; and protection from harm. Emotional neglect is not meeting the child's ongoing emotional needs for affection and a sense of belonging.

Sexual abuse is the improper exposure of a child to sexual contact, activity or behaviour. It includes any sexual touching, intercourse, exploitation or exposure and can be perpetrated by anyone, including a parent or guardian, caregiver, extended family, friend, neighbour or stranger.

Child Abuse Hotline
1-800-387-KIDS (5437)
Kids Help Phone
Family Violence Info Line


Please visit the Child & Family Services website to find services near you. 

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