What is child abuse – part 2

March 9, 2015 8:00 am

Last week we looked at the more well known types of child abuse. This week I want to look at the types of abuse which have become more prominent over the last 20 years. That’s not to say some of these types are new, rather they have been around for a long time but have only been seen as abusive over the last couple of decades.

The types of abuse are:

  • cyberbullying
  • online abuse
  • witnessing or hearing domestic abuse
  • child sexual exploitation
  • female genital mutilation
  • child trafficking

I’d like to look at each one of these in turn.


This is defined by as follows:

“Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.”

Online abuse

This is defined by the NSPCC as:

“…any type of abuse that happens on the web, whether through social networks, playing online games or using mobile phones. Children and young people may experience cyberbullying, grooming, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or emotional abuse.”

Witnessing/hearing domestic abuse between family members

Domestic abuse is defined by Women’s Aid as:

“…physical, psychological, sexual or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. This can include forced marriage and so-called ‘honour’ crimes. Domestic violence often includes a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are, in themselves, inherently ‘violent’ – hence some people prefer to use the term ‘domestic abuse’ rather than ‘domestic violence’.”

Child Sexual Exploitation

The NSPCC defines this as follows:

“Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse in which children are sexually exploited for money, power or status.”

Female Genital Mutilation

This is defined by the World Health Organisation in it’s factsheet as:

“… all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”

Child Trafficking

UNICEF states that

“According to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2000), child trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of children for the purpose of exploitation. It is a violation of their rights, their well-being and denies them the opportunity to reach their full potential.”


Most people won’t come into contact with children who have been trafficked, victims of FGM or are victims of sexual exploitation.

Cyberbullying and online abuse are risk to every single child. Every child has the ability to go online, most will have their own phones, tablets, computers, games consoles which will allow them to go online. Being online is a massive part of a child’s life. It now intrudes into every part of their day. Long gone are the says when children could leave school and not have any contact with their friends until the following day. Technology now keeps us all connected 24/7.

This constant connection is a new piece of social structure which young people have to navigate. The current teenage generation is the 1st to deal with this and parents and those working with young people need to be aware of the risks young people face online.

Parents should take the time to talk to their children about what Apps they are using to talk to their friends. Take the time to learn how to use it. Children become more at risk the more ignorant parents and carers are because they are less likely to be able to protect their children.


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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Katherine T Young Ltd & Kate Young disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.