Information for Patients
Child abuse is doing something or failing to do something that results in harm to a child or puts a child at risk of harm. Child abuse can be physical, sexual or emotional. Neglect, or not providing for a child's needs, is also a form of abuse.
Most abused children suffer greater emotional than physical damage. An abused child may become depressed. He or she may withdraw, think of suicide or become violent. An older child may use drugs or alcohol, try to run away or abuse others.
Child abuse is a serious problem. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, call the police or your local child welfare agency.
Domestic violence is a type of abuse. It usually involves a spouse or partner, but it can also be a child, older relative, or other family member.
Domestic violence may include
- Physical violence that can lead to injuries such as bruises or broken bones
- Sexual violence
- Threats of physical or sexual violence
- Emotional abuse that may lead to depression, anxiety, or social isolation
- Economic abuse, which involves controlling access to money
- Stalking, which causes fear for your own safety
The first step in getting help is to tell someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, or co-worker. You can also contact your doctor or another health care professional, an emergency shelter, or a domestic violence helpline.
The first step in getting help is to tell someone you trust.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention