Child Abuse Defined

 Abuse and neglect can take many forms

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Following is a brief review of what is considered child abuse, neglect and dependency

Abuse:

Physical Abuse: Non-accidental injury to a child or death inflicted other than by accidental means. This may include severe corporal punishment that results in serious harm.
 
Sexual Abuse: Act of sexual nature upon or with a child, such as molestation, prostitution, and pornography.  The act may be for the gratification of abuser or a third party.  
 
Emotional Abuse: Chronic, consistent attitude or act that interferes with a child’s psychological and social development.

Neglect:

Physical Neglect:  Willful failure to provide for a child; refusing to perform parental duties; abandonment.  Some examples include:

• Lack of supervision
• Educational neglect
• Medical/dental neglect
• Unsafe shelter
• Failure to protect (domestic violence, child endangering, driving intoxicated, etc.)

Emotional Neglect: Failure to provide the support or affection necessary to a child’s psychological and social development. 

Some examples include:

• Failure to thrive diagnosis
• Psychological neglect (for instance, parent does not take child for assessment when he or she threatens or attempts suicide)

Dependency:

When a child is deprived of physical or emotional support due to a mental or physical condition of the child’s parents, guardian or custodian. This also pertains to a child who is at risk due to living in a household where abuse, neglect or dependency has already been substantiated in court regarding another child.

 

Who Are The Victims of Child Abuse?

• Any child (birth-18 years)
• Any child under 21 who has handicaps
• Children across all class, cultural and educational groups

 

Family & Children Highlights

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Search for local not-for-profit agencies and other essential services. Access the United Way of Clark, Champaign & Madison Counties, Information & Referral Database. Learn More