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Definitions and signs of child abuse

Topics: Safeguarding and child protection

Child abuse happens when someone harms a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional, or involve neglect. Children who experience abuse may struggle to speak out, so it’s vital that anyone working with children or young people is able to recognise the signs of abuse.

This factsheet sets out the different types of abuse and describes potential signs that a child is being abused. 

> For more information on child abuse see Child abuse and neglect