Child Abuse and Neglect

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Child Abuse and Neglect

Topic Overview

What is child abuse and neglect?

Child abuse and neglect includes any act that harms a child. Some people use the term "child maltreatment" to include both abuse and neglect.

Children who are maltreated may suffer in many ways. Young children are at special risk. They may not grow properly, or they may have learning problems. They may feel bad about themselves and not trust other people. They may be scared or angry. Sometimes they die.

Children are not able to understand that abuse or neglect is not their fault. They may think that they did something wrong and deserve what happened. It is up to adults who care to protect them. If you know about or suspect child abuse or neglect, there are ways you can help.

What are the types of abuse and neglect?

Child abuse means doing something that hurts a child. This may be physical, emotional, or sexual. Neglect means not giving or doing something that a child needs.

  • Physical abuse is often the easiest type to notice. It includes hitting, kicking, shaking, pinching, and burning. It may leave bruises, cuts, or other marks and cause pain, broken bones, or internal injuries.
  • Emotional abuse is saying or doing things that make a child feel unloved, unwanted, unsafe, or worthless. It can range from yelling and threatening to ignoring the child and not giving love and support. It may not leave scars you can see, but the damage to a child is just as real.
  • Sexual abuse is any sexual contact between an adult and a child or between an older child and a younger child. Showing pornography to a child is a type of sexual abuse.
  • Neglect happens when a child does not get the shelter, schooling, clothing, medical care, or protection he or she needs. Child neglect is just as serious as abuse and is even more common.

What should you do if you suspect that a child has been abused or neglected?

Call the police or local child welfare services. You do not have to give your name. A hospital may be able to connect you to places in your area that can help. Many hospitals have special programs to deal with child abuse and neglect.

If a child is in immediate danger or has been badly hurt, don't wait. Call 911 or other emergency services right away.

If you are a child or teen who is being abused, don't keep the secret. Tell someone who can make a difference: a trusted family member, teacher, counsellor, or doctor. You do not deserve to be abused. You can also call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868, or visit the website at

What should you do if you are afraid someone might harm your child?

If you think your child is in immediate danger, call 911 and get your child to a safe place and stay there. This may be the home of a close friend or family member or a domestic violence shelter. To find help in your area, call a trusted health professional, a child abuse organization, or the police.

If you are worried about the way someone acts around your child, find a quiet time to talk with the person alone. Help the person learn about child development issues. If it is your partner, you could take a parenting class together. Plan what you will do next if your concerns become more serious. Then follow through with your plan.

How can you prevent child abuse and neglect?

To protect your child from abuse:

  • Listen to your child. Let him or her know it is safe to talk about anything with you.
  • Get to know your child’s friends and their families.
  • Screen all caregivers, such as babysitters and daycare centres. Find out what they know about child health, child development, and child care. This may include getting permission for a police background check.
  • Teach your child the proper names for the private parts of his or her body. Teach the difference between “good touch” and "bad touch."
  • Ask a family member or friend to give you a break when you feel overwhelmed. Learn healthy ways to manage stress. Look online for sources of information and support such as Kids Help Phone ( You can also contact your local public health unit for information and support.
  • Get help if you have ever been a victim of abuse. A good place to start is the Kids Help Phone hotline at 1-800-668-6868, or visit the website at You can talk to a counsellor for free without giving your name.

To help children in your area:

  • Learn to recognize the signs of abuse and neglect. For example, a child may not grow as expected, may be dirty or unhealthy, or may seem fearful, anxious, or depressed.
  • Know the names of your neighbours and their children. Offer to help a new parent. Child abuse becomes less likely if parents and caregivers feel supported.
  • Be an advocate for children. Support groups that help parents at risk of abusing their children. Donate time, money, or goods to a local domestic violence shelter.
  • If you see abuse or neglect happening, speak up. A child’s life may depend on it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning about child abuse and neglect:

Signs of abuse and neglect:

Getting help:

Ongoing concerns:


Abused or neglected children often show both physical and behavioural symptoms. Older children may not talk about the problem, because they fear or want to protect the offender or they do not believe they will be taken seriously. Sometimes children report abuse to an adult they trust. These conversations should be taken seriously and acted upon.

Some symptoms are specific to certain forms of maltreatment. There are also general symptoms that can occur with all types.

General symptoms

Certain general symptoms that may suggest that a child is experiencing some type of abuse or neglect include:

  • Developmental delays, which means a child does not reach developmental milestones as expected, such as starting to talk or socialize with others.
  • Regression, which is losing skills already mastered and moving back to a earlier state of development.
  • Failure to thrive, which is when a child's growth pattern is not in a healthy range. Both weight and height can be affected, but low weight for height and head circumference is the most common symptom. Most cases of failure to thrive are the result of problems with the immediate care of the child, the interaction between the child and the caregiver (usually the mother), or the social and emotional health of the caregiver.
  • Unusual parent/child interaction. The parent may be uninterested in the child, or a child may be especially sensitive to the parent's moods and may attempt to smooth over any potential conflict. Often this appears as a type of role reversal, with the child closely monitoring and responding to the parent. Abused or neglected children may also fear their parents.
  • Poor mental health, such as exhibiting low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, or suicidal tendencies.
  • Sudden decline in academic performance.
  • Inappropriate or problem behaviour. In some cases, especially for a young child, unusual fussiness, fear, or lack of interest in activities may be noticed. Other behaviours may be disruptive. Children often act out what they have seen or experienced, such as violence or sexual activity. Older children may act out by being promiscuous or running away.

Symptoms of physical abuse

Physical abuse often results in cuts, bruises, burns, broken bones, head injuries, and abdominal injuries. These types of injuries may point to physical abuse when:

  • They are unlikely to have been caused by an accident, especially for the child's developmental stage. Geometric patterns or mirror (symmetrical) injuries are suspicious, as are those located on areas of the body that usually are protected, such as the inside of the legs and arms, the back, the genitalia, and the buttocks.
  • Explanations change or do not adequately account for how an injury occurred. The history of the injury does not match the actual type of injury, its location, or how long ago it occurred.
  • Evidence shows that injuries have occurred previously.
  • Medical care for the injury is delayed.

Symptoms of psychological abuse

A child who experiences psychological abuse has a parent or caregiver who uses tactics to hurt a child psychologically, such as by saying demeaning words or by failing to be supportive. The emotional pain caused by this type of abuse can devastate a child. An emotionally abused child may:

  • Have little interest in what is going on around him or her and not be eager to try new activities.
  • Have inappropriate responses to pain, other people, or changes in his or her environment.
  • Avoid a parent or caregiver.
  • Act overly fearful, angry, depressed, or anxious.
  • Perform poorly in school.
  • Inflict self-injury or be self-destructive.

Symptoms of sexual abuse

A child with symptoms of recent sexual abuse may be reluctant to go to the bathroom; may show signs of discomfort or pain while sitting, urinating, or passing stools; may have discharge from the vagina or penis; or may bleed through his or her pants.

Certain behaviours may also point to sexual abuse. These include:1

Note: Sexual abuse is very different from normal sexual play between children. Sexual abuse is a criminal activity. It includes any sexual activity that the child is not able to understand or consent to. This may include, but is not limited to, obvious sexual acts (such as intercourse), fondling, exhibitionism, voyeurism, and exposure to pornography.

Normal sexual play involves preteen children within 4 years of age of each other, who have similar developmental levels. No force, power, or coercion is used, and the play—primarily touching and looking at genitalia—is driven by an innocent curiosity.

Symptoms of neglect

A child is neglected when he or she does not have appropriate care. A child's general appearance, home environment, and behaviour patterns can show signs of neglect.

A child who is neglected may be:

  • Significantly underweight or overweight.
  • Developmentally delayed.
  • Obviously unhealthy, such as being sick or tired most of the time.
  • Dirty or have poor personal hygiene.
  • Inadequately clothed.

What Happens

Survivors of child abuse are vulnerable to long-term emotional damage. Typically, children are abused at an age when they are not equipped with life experience and reasoning abilities to understand that it is not their fault. They suffer developmental setbacks, physical pain, and emotional anguish. Abuse and neglect in children younger than 7 years of age may lead to permanent behaviour and personality changes.

Children who are abused or neglected are at increased risk for abusing other children and siblings and, later in life, their own children or elderly parents. They are also at increased risk for becoming involved in criminal acts as they get older. As adults, they will likely suffer from physical and emotional problems.

Physical effects

Prolonged and repeated physical abuse can permanently damage the body.

  • Certain types of abuse, such as shaken baby syndrome (also called intentional head injury), can result in life-threatening brain injury. Children who survive may have permanent developmental disabilities or learning disabilities.
  • A sexually abused child can become infected with a sexually transmitted infection, such as HIV, which can be life-threatening.
  • Long-term (chronic) health problems, such as sexual dysfunction may occur. Other problems, such as not growing or developing normally, may happen as a result of being neglected as a child.

Emotional effects

All children who have been abused or neglected or who witness domestic violence are at risk for developing mental health disorders, emotional problems, and poor social skills. These problems may occur alone or in combination. The effects of abuse or neglect are determined by how severe the abuse or neglect is, how frequently or for how long it occurs, and the relationship of the child to the abuser.

Mental health disorders that may result from abuse and neglect include:

  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Borderline personality disorder. A person with this mental health condition may have trouble controlling his or her anger and impulses, often has problems with unstable or intense relationships, may have a low sense of self-worth, and may feel frantic anxiety about being abandoned.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Suicide or suicidal thoughts.
  • Dissociation. This is an unconscious attempt at self-protection against an overwhelming and traumatic experience. The mind separates itself from an event or the environment, such as blocking out the memory, so it can maintain some degree of order and sense.
  • Eating disorders, such as severely limiting calories (anorexia) resulting in unhealthy weight loss.

Other emotional effects include:

  • Low self-esteem, which is a person's core belief about himself or herself. Children cannot process or understand what has happened to them. They often unconsciously blame themselves and grow up with a poor self-image, which affects their relationships with others.
  • Anger, hostility, defiance, antisocial tendencies, or criminal behaviour.
  • Negativity. A person with a history of abuse or neglect may have trouble adjusting to normal struggles.
  • Substance abuse, such as using illegal drugs or drinking alcohol excessively.
  • Emotional detachment. A person may have problems bonding, socializing, and developing friendships. This can result in isolation and a failure to learn and develop sympathy, empathy, and other important emotion-based concepts.
  • Impulsiveness. The person fails to think and consider consequences before acting. Often this results in reckless, risky, or antisocial activities, such as driving dangerously.
  • Issues with sexuality. Abused or neglected children, especially those who are sexually abused, often have problems developing a healthy sexuality as they reach adolescence and adulthood. Some may be sexually promiscuous, and others may be fearful and unwilling to risk any intimacy.

What Increases the Risk

Living in poverty or near poverty is a major risk factor for child maltreatment. People who live in poverty often do not have the resources to properly care for their children. Caregivers may have a high level of stress that makes it hard to deal with daily challenges. Also, some children have extreme physical or psychological needs, which can make parenting very stressful. Unemployment, single and inexperienced parents, mental illness in a caregiver, poor housing, and substance abuse are all risk factors.

Risk factors for parents and caregivers

  • A history of poor impulse control, violence, domestic violence, or abusing children
  • A history of substance abuse, which may include problems with alcohol
  • Unrealistic expectations of a child and lack of knowledge about child development
  • A high stress level that is not managed in healthy ways. Common sources of stress include being a single or teen parent or having several young children close in age.
  • Isolation or lack of support. Parents who lack financial, emotional, and other types of support are more likely to abuse or neglect their children. A parent or caregiver who also lacks access to community social services may be left to deal with a variety of hardships all by herself or himself.
  • A history of having been abused. Caregivers who themselves were abused as children, have low self-esteem, are depressed, or have other mental health problems are more likely to react to stress with violence.
  • A history of mental health problems, such as depression

Risk factors for children

The risk of abuse and neglect increases when a child has a disability or other health issue, such as:

  • Prematurity. Babies born early often add emotional and financial stress to a household by their need for longer and more expensive hospital care and general vulnerability that requires close monitoring after they are home. They may have persistent developmental problems.
  • A physical disability, such as blindness or being confined to a wheelchair.
  • Below-normal intelligence.
  • Developmental delays.
  • A difficult temperament.
  • Behavioural problems, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

An insecure bond between a parent and child is also a risk factor for abuse and neglect. The failure to establish a close bond may be the result of:

  • Parents not wanting the child.
  • Birth of twins or other multiples.
  • Long hospitalization of the newborn and separation from parents because of premature birth or health problems.
  • Challenges related to fostering or adopting a child.
  • Mental health problems in a caregiver. For example, a parent who is severely depressed may unintentionally neglect his or her child.
  • A child with a major health problem or disability, such as blindness, deafness, or autism. These types of problems can make it hard for a parent to communicate or for the child to give and receive affection.

When to Seek Help

Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you witness child abuse, believe a child is in immediate danger, or see that a child:

Call law enforcement or child welfare services immediately if you:

  • Suspect an injury was caused by maltreatment.
  • Suspect that abuse or neglect is placing a child's health at risk.
  • Suspect that a child has seen or heard domestic violence within the family.
  • Have concerns that you or your spouse or significant other may lose control and hurt your child.

If the child is not in immediate danger, call your local child welfare services or police if:

After you have called law enforcement or child welfare services, you can call your child's doctor about treatment for physical and emotional injuries.

If you are a child or teen who is being abused, you can also call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868, or visit the website

In all provinces, child welfare services are required by law to investigate potential child abuse or neglect.

Examinations and Tests

A maltreated child who is taken to a doctor will first have a general physical examination. Also, the child's medical history will be reviewed, and parents or caregivers will be questioned about the child's condition. A child who is able to talk will be separated from the caregiver during the interview.

Doctors have a professional duty and legal obligation to evaluate the possibility of abuse or neglect. Along with observing signs of physical abuse or neglect, a doctor may become suspicious when:

  • The injury is uncommon or unlikely to be an accident, especially for the child's developmental stage.
  • Explanations given by the parents or caregivers change or do not adequately account for the child's condition.
  • There was no reported witness to the injury.
  • Medical records document that similar injuries or patterns of neglect have occurred.
  • Parents or caregivers delayed seeking medical help for the child without a credible or appropriate explanation.

Signs of sexual abuse may not be identified during a physical examination. Not all types of sexual abuse leave physical signs. Also, many types of sexual abuse injuries heal quickly. But if a child is examined soon after the incident, a doctor is more likely to observe and record the symptoms and be able to take samples for lab analysis.

Common tests

Tests that are frequently used to help confirm or rule out suspected abuse or neglect include:

  • Imaging tests such as X-ray, CT scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These types of tests can help determine whether a child's injuries include any broken bones. Some tests may also show evidence of past injuries.
  • Blood tests. Prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and platelet count can help determine whether a bleeding disorder is present. This may help rule out abuse or neglect as a diagnosis. Other blood tests can be used to look for signs of organ damage.
  • Urinalysis (UA), to check for blood in the urine. If the test is positive, this may be a sign of internal injuries.
  • Specialized laboratory tests, to determine whether sexual abuse has occurred. For example, sample cultures of fluids found in or around the vagina may be taken and analyzed. If abuse has occurred within 72 hours of the examination, forensic samples of certain body tissues, such as skin or hair, also are taken.
  • Lumbar puncture, also called spinal tap, which may reveal blood from a brain injury.
  • Eye examination by an ophthalmologist, to find out if damage has occurred that points to shaken baby syndrome, also called intentional head injury.

Other tests

Other examinations and tests done to help confirm child abuse or neglect vary depending on the specific medical problem suspected or observed. For example, psychological testing may be requested for some children. Victims of suspected sexual abuse may be tested for sexually transmitted infections.

Other children in the care of a suspected abuser may also be examined and have X-rays if law enforcement or medical personnel investigating the case think it is necessary.

When a baby's death may be related to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), medical professionals and police officers will conduct a thorough investigation to rule out abuse or neglect. These people are trained to be sensitive to grieving parents. No one is at fault when a baby dies from SIDS. For more information, see the topic Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).


A child's injuries and related information are carefully recorded. This documentation provides a detailed account of the injuries for the child's permanent health record and usually includes photographs and drawings of the injuries. Measurements (weight, height, and head circumference) are also taken and recorded to help establish a child's baseline growth pattern. Recording these measurements on growth charts can help identify failure to thrive that sometimes is related to neglect. Neglect or other types of abuse may not be diagnosed immediately.

Treatment Overview

The first treatment priority for an abused or neglected child is to provide a safe environment to prevent further harm. Early treatment gives a child the best chance for physical and emotional recovery. This includes separating the child, as well as any other children in the household, from the suspected abusive parent or caregiver.

A wide variety of therapies may be used for both children and parents. Specific treatment depends on the type of abuse, who inflicted it (perpetrator), and in what setting it occurred. Health and legal professionals work as a team to develop the most effective program using their training, experience, judgment, and creativity.2

Treatment for physical injuries

Treatment for an abused or neglected child depends on the nature of the abuse. If a child's injury or neglect has caused a life-threatening condition, such as shaken baby syndrome (also called intentional head injury), treatment will be given in a hospital setting. Less serious physical injuries, such as cigarette burns on the skin, will be treated on an outpatient basis with scheduled follow-up appointments.

Treatment for emotional injuries

Counselling is recommended for all children who are victims of abuse or neglect. For very young children, this treatment may involve play therapy. Counselling for children of all ages usually addresses:

  • How they feel about themselves.
  • Their past experiences.
  • Fears and concerns they may have about the present and future.

Treatment for parents or caregivers

Parents or caregivers who have abused or neglected a child also need treatment. The type of treatment depends on the specific abuse that occurred. Some people need more education on effective parenting techniques. Others may need treatment for other serious problems, such as:

Parents who have lost custody of their children may regain it. Whether they do so depends on the severity of the abuse or neglect and a professional evaluation of their rehabilitation progress. In severe cases, future contact between parent and child must be supervised. Sometimes all parental rights are lost.


You can help prevent child abuse and neglect by using techniques to help you manage the responsibilities and stress related to parenting and daily life. Regardless of whether you are a parent, you can help children by showing concern for their well-being, volunteering when you are able, and being a general advocate for them.

If you are a parent or caregiver of children:

  • Learn and use effective parenting and discipline techniques and avoid the use of corporal punishment. Parenting classes are offered in most communities. Ask your doctor or call a local hospital for more information.
  • Learn healthy techniques to resolve conflicts and manage stress. For more information, see the topic Stress Management.
  • Ask for help when you need it. Call a family member or friend to give you a break if you feel overwhelmed. Find out about community resources that are available to help you with child care or other services you need. Call a doctor or local hospital for a place to start. Some communities have respite care facilities for children, which provide temporary child care during times when you need a break.
  • Get treatment if you have ever been a victim of abuse. Also seek help if you have problems with depression, alcohol or substance abuse, or violent behaviour.
  • Increase your knowledge of children's developmental stages. The normal pattern of crying in a newborn is a common trigger for shaken baby syndrome (also called intentional head injury). For more information, see the Growth and Development topics.
  • Remove firearms and other dangerous weapons from your home.

To help children in your community:

  • Be aware of the children in your neighbourhood. Learn their names and show basic concern for them, such as waving to them or asking about how they're doing at home and school.
  • Relieve a friend, neighbour, or relative who is feeling overwhelmed with child care and other issues.
  • Learn to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect.
  • Advocate for services to help at-risk families.
  • Volunteer in child abuse programs.

Common Concerns

When you suspect a child is, or is at risk of, being abused or neglected, it is important to take action. Most abused children are not able to help themselves.

Certain people, such as health professionals, social workers, and teachers, are required by law to report suspected child abuse and neglect, usually to the police or to provincial child welfare services. All citizens are mandated by law to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect. For more information, see the Other Places to Get Help section of this topic.

Law enforcement or child welfare services will investigate a child abuse or neglect complaint and submit a report to the prosecutor. Based on the report, the prosecutor will determine whether the situation requires prosecution. If convicted of a crime, an abuser may have to serve a jail sentence. The role of the juvenile court is to ensure a child's safety and connect families to social services.

Estimates from 2008 show that about 70% of suspected child abuse reports were made by professionals in the line of duty.3 The remaining referrals were made by family members, neighbours, and other community members.

Many people are unsure how to handle suspected abuse because they:

  • Are not sure what acts are considered abuse and neglect.
  • Fear they will cause the child more harm.
  • Worry that they will falsely accuse a parent or caregiver.
  • Fear that they will become a victim themselves of violence or harassment from the abuser.
  • Are concerned they will be sued.

Keep in mind that by reporting suspected abuse or neglect, you may prevent a child from suffering serious injury, severe lifelong emotional problems, or even death. You can make reports anonymously. If you give your name, it is kept confidential. A person who makes a report in good faith is immune from lawsuits.

Because in all provinces suspected abuse must be investigated within 24 hours, the risk of causing a child more harm by making a report is less than if you do not report your suspicions.

Investigators sometimes are not able to find enough evidence to support suspected abuse. In this case, parents or caregivers may be referred to social services to reduce the child's risk of abuse or neglect.

Other Places To Get Help

Online Resource

National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre (Canada)
Web Address:

The National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre (NCECC) is a national clearinghouse and coordination centre for all international requests to conduct investigations in Canada related to child sexual exploitation on the Internet. This Web site provides information and links about recognizing, reporting, and preventing child sexual exploitation online.


Kempe Foundation for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect
13123 East 16th Avenue, B390
Aurora, CO 80045
Phone: (303) 864-5300
Web Address:

The Kempe Foundation is a world leader in programs that treat abused children. The foundation focuses on the causes, effects, and prevention of child abuse and has information for parents and professionals.

American Academy of Pediatrics
141 Northwest Point Boulevard
Elk Grove Village, IL  60007-1098
Phone: (847) 434-4000
Fax: (847) 434-8000
Web Address:

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers a variety of educational materials, such as links to publications about parenting and general growth and development. Immunization information, safety and prevention tips, AAP guidelines for various conditions, and links to other organizations are also available.

Canadian Paediatric Society
2305 Saint Laurent Boulevard
Ottawa, ON  K1G 4J8
Phone: (613) 526-9397
Fax: (613) 526-3332
Web Address:

The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) promotes quality health care for Canadian children and establishes guidelines for paediatric care. The organization offers educational materials on a variety of topics, including information on immunizations, pregnancy, safety issues, and teen health.

Child Abuse Prevention (BC)
Safe Kids British Columbia
Web Address:

This Web site provides information and resources for reporting and preventing child abuse in British Columbia and across Canada. It includes numerous links to educational material about recognizing, reporting, and preventing child abuse as well as Child Abuse Hotline information for areas throughout Canada.

Kids Help Phone
300-439 University Avenue
Toronto, ON  M5G 1Y8
Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (hotline number for kids and youth)
(416) 586-5437 (national office)
Fax: (416) 586-0651
Web Address:

Kids Help Phone provides children and teens access to counsellors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Counsellors also respond to questions posted online. At the Web site, visitors can find information on issues specific to children and teens, such as on bullying, dating, girls' and boys' health, and violence and abuse.

National Child Abuse Hotline
Phone: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

The National Child Abuse Hotline provides 24-hour support for parents. It provides free information and advice, ranging from prevention of child abuse to basic information about the normal growth and development of children.

National Clearinghouse on Family Violence
Family Violence Prevention Unit, Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)
Jeanne Mance Building, Address Locator #1909D1 Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, ON  K1A 1B4
Phone: 1-800-267-1291
(613) 957-2938
Fax: (613) 941-8930
TDD: 1-800-561-5643 or (613) 952-6396 (local)
Web Address:

The National Clearinghouse on Family Violence (NCFV) provides resource referrals and information on protection, prevention, and treatment of domestic violence.

Parents Anonymous
675 West Foothill Boulevard
Suite 220
Claremont, CA  91711-3475
Phone: (909) 621-6184
Fax: (909) 625-6304
Web Address:

Parents Anonymous encourages all parents to ask for help early to effectively break the cycle of abuse. Parents Anonymous groups meet in local community centers, churches, schools, housing projects, shelters, and prisons.



  1. American Academy of Pediatrics (1999). Guidelines for the evaluation of sexual abuse of children: Subject review. Pediatrics, 103(1): 186–191.
  2. Saunders BE, et al., eds. (2004). Child Physical and Sexual Abuse: Guidelines for Treatment (Revised). Charleston, SC: National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center. Also available online:
  3. Trocmé N, et al. (2010). Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect—2008: Major Findings. Ottawa: Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Other Works Consulted

  • American Academy of Pediatrics (2007). Evaluation of suspected child physical abuse. Pediatrics, 119(6): 1232–1241.
  • Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect and Committee on Children with Disabilities, American Academy of Pediatrics (2007). Maltreatment of children with disabilities. Pediatrics, 119(5): 1018–1025.
  • Kaufman J (2007). Child abuse and neglect. In A Martin, FR Volkmar, eds., Lewis's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 4th ed., pp. 692-701. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
  • Ludwig S, Rostain A (2009). Family function and dysfunction. In WB Carey et al., eds., Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, 4th ed., pp. 103–117. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Last Revised February 8, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.