What is Abuse?


If you are suspicious or have any concerns that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer Significant Harm, including any form of mistreatment or abuse, see Reporting Concerns.

If you are concerned about your own behaviour, please contact the Initial Contact Team  for advice on 0345 6789021. To contact the Initial Contact Team outside normal working hours, call 0345 6789040

Definitions of Abuse

Being mistreated or abused (sometimes called ‘Significant Harm') is defined as Sexual Abuse, Physical Abuse, Neglect or Emotional Abuse.

Physical Abuse

Physical Abuse:
When an adult deliberately hurts a child, such as hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning or suffocating.
  Emotional Abuse Emotional Abuse:
This would happen, for instance, when a child is being unfairly blamed for everything, all the time, or told they are stupid and made to feel unhappy.
  Sexual Abuse Sexual Abuse:
An examples of sexual abuse would be where a child has been forced to take part in sexual activities or in the taking of rude photos.
  Bullying Bullying:
E.g. calling names, damaging property, stealing, spreading rumours, cyberbullying, hurting, getting people into trouble (See Bullying)
  Domestic Violence Domestic Violence:
When someone over 16 in a family or relationship threatens, bullies or hurts another adult e.g. physically, psychologically, emotionally, sexually or financially.
  Neglect Neglect:
Where a child is not being looked after properly, for example, not getting enough to eat or being left alone in dangerous situations.