What is Child Abuse

March 2, 2015 9:30 am

Stoke Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB)  has urged taxi drivers to be on the alert for children who may be at risk of sexual abuse. It comes after the latest figures showed 50 youngsters in its area were at risk of being sexually exploited.

The proposal has been met with mixed reviews.

Any taxi drivers participating in the scheme will be given information on what to look out for in vulnerable children. This includes:

• Gang association
• Homelessness
• Attending school with young people are already sexually exploited
• Recent bereavement or loss
• Unsure about their sexual orientation or unable to talk to their parents about their sexual orientation.

Child protection is the responsibility of everyone.

The 5 most recognised forms of child abuse are defined in the UK Government guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2006) as follows:


This harm is not accidental.

Physical abuse is deliberate harm to a child which causes bruises, cuts, burns or broken bones. In babies, shaking or hitting them can cause non-accidental head injuries which can have life-altering consequences.

Any physical abuse can have serious consequences for children as they grow up and can cause long lasting harm.

• Emotional

This is sometimes called psychological abuse. Emotional abuse is the ongoing emotional maltreatment. It can involve deliberately trying to scare or humiliate a child. It can also involve isolating or ignoring a child.

Emotional abuse often happens at the same time as neglect or other abuse.


This is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs. It is likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may happen during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer :

  • not to providing adequate food and clothing; shelter, including exclusion from home;
  • failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
  • failure to ensure adequate supervision including the use of inadequate care- takers;
  • or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include a failure to meet a child’s basic emotional needs.

• Sexual

The age of consent is 16years old. Below that age, the law states a young person cannot consent to sexual acts.

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities can include acts such as kissing, touching or fondling the child’s genitals or breasts, vaginal or anal intercourse or oral sex .

They may include non-contact activities, such as children looking at, or being involved in the production of pornographic material or watching sexual activities.

Research by the NSPCC found that 72 percent of sexually abused children do not tell anyone about what happened at the time, and that 31 percent still have not told anyone by early adulthood.


This can be defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour. It is usually repeated over a period of time, and occurs where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves. It can take many forms, but the three main types are physical, verbal and emotional.

The damage inflicted by bullying can often be underestimated. Bullying can cause significant distress to children so much so it affects their health and development.


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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.