Child abuse is what happens when a person, or group of people, harm a child or young person under the age of 18. Often the adult - 'abuser' - knows the child well. Child abuse can happen anywhere.
There are five types of child abuse:
- Neglect - is not being looked after properly, not being fed enough or having warm clothes or a place to sleep or needing medication when you are ill and not getting it
- Physical abuse - is being hit, shaken, thrown, poisoned, burned or being given harmful drugs or alcohol
- Sexual abuse - is being touched in a way that feels wrong, being forced or encouraged to have sex or made to touch an adult sexually even if you don't understand what is happening or being shown sexual films or pictures
- Emotional abuse - is being bullied or threatened, not being loved but made to feel stupid and worthless
- Bullying - is being hit or kicked, called names, being left out, being threatened, having things stolen, being made to give someone money, being shouted and laughed at or being made to feel stupid/different. It can happen via text or social networking sites like Facebook or Bebo.
Abuse is never ok. It's not your fault and there are people who can help