What is abuse?

Every child or young person has a right to be cared for in a way that does not harm his or her physical or emotional well being or development. It does not matter if they are living at home, independently, are in further education, a member of the armed forces, in hospital, prison or a young offenders institution.

Parents or caregivers who have children and young people living with them have the responsibility of providing for them and preventing abuse so they are kept safe and healthy until the age of 18 (unless they marry before their eighteenth birthday).

In addition, children have a right to be protected from maltreatment by anyone else whether it is members of their family, friends, acquaintances and strangers. This includes other children and young people and any professional with whom they may come into contact.

What is abuse? 

Child abuse is harm done to anyone up to the age of 18 either by a family member, someone else known to them or, very rarely, a stranger. Children can be abused in their own home, in another person's home, in a community setting or in an institution, such as a children's home or educational setting.

The abuser may be an adult, adults, another child or children.

There are several types of abuse, such as:

Some of the forms in which they are inflicted are detailed below. It can be inflicted intentionally and someone may know that the abuse is taking place but they choose not to stop it from happening. This is wrong. If you know about a child or young person being abused you must tell someone so that the abuse can be stopped.

Further information

Information on What is abuse?