Physical: Physical abuse refers to using physical aggression against/toward a child. Physical abuse may result in physical injuries, such as bruising or broken bones. Some examples of physical abuse include slapping, biting, burning, punching, pushing, throwing, and grabbing. Abusive Head Trauma, previously called Shaken Baby Syndrome, is a form of physical abuse.
Emotional: Emotional abuse refers to words, attitudes, or behaviours that demean a child or otherwise hurt a child’s mental health. Some examples of emotional abuse include belittling, humiliation, and extreme punishments.
Sexual: Sexual abuse is any kind of sexual activity between an adult and a child. Sexual activity does not have to include penetration or intercourse to be abusive. Some examples of sexual abuse include sexualized touching and kissing, forced sexual acts, exposing sexual body parts to a child, exposing children to adult sex (watching sex or pornography), making child pornography, and sex trafficking.
Neglect: Neglect refers to not meeting a child’s needs. This can include emotional neglect (e.g, not providing love and care), physical neglect (e.g., not providing physical necessities such as clothes and hygiene supplies), educational neglect (e.g., not allowing the child to attend school or get special support as required), and medical neglect (e.g., not providing a child with medical care when needed).
Witnessing Violence: Witnessing violence refers to a child being in the presence of or dealing with the repercussions of domestic violence (intimate partner violence) or extreme marital discord. Witnessing abuse does not mean that the child has to be directly physically harmed by the abuse. He or she can be indirectly harmed, for example, by having to lie about the reason for a parent’s injuries. Witnessing abuse is considered a form of child abuse in Canada.