Child abuse essay examples

Table of contents

Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child. There are many forms of child maltreatment, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation and emotional abuse.


Physical abuse is when a parent or caregiver causes any nonaccidental injury to a child.28.3% of adults report the physical injury as a child( Physical injury includes striking, kicking, burning, biting, hair pulling, Throwing, or any other form that can cause an injury to a child.


  1. Any injury in a child who is not crawling yet.
  2. visible or severe injuries.
  3. Distinctive shapes or marks on a child’s body.
  4. Unexplained or explained injuries that do not make sense.
  5. Broken bones or dislocated joints.
  6. Bruises on the child’s face, head neck, buttocks, or thighs.
  7. Shows discomfort when physically contacted.
  8. Burns.


  1. Scared of parents or other adults.
  2. Aggressive towards peers, pets or other animals.
  3. Fear, withdrawal, depression, anxiety.
  4. Wear long sleeves out of season.
  5. Nightmares.
  6. Self-destructive behavior.


When a parent or caregiver harms a child’s mental or social development or cause s severe emotional harm. 10.6% of adults report being emotionally harmed as a child( It includes insulting, calling names, not showing love and affection towards children, blackmailing, calling them useless and so on.


  1. Delays in development.
  2. Speech disorders.
  3. Obesity and weight fluctuations.
  4. Health issues like ulcers and skin disorders.
  5. Emotionally immature behavior.
  6. Low self-esteem.
  7. Lack of interest in activities and socializing.


  1. Behaves very immature or too mature to their age.
  2. Bedwetting.
  3. Too clingy or attached to a nonabusive adult.
  4. Attempts to avoid certain gatherings or avoid interactions with other people.
  5. Habits like sucking, biting, rocking.


Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse that includes sexual activity with a minor. A child cannot consent to any form of sexual activity, period. When a perpetrator engages with a child this way, they are committing a crime that can have lasting effects on the victim for years. Child sexual abuse does not need to include physical contact between a perpetrator and a child. Some forms of child sexual abuse include:

  • Exhibitionism, or exposing oneself to a minor
  • Fondling
  • Intercourse
  • Masturbation in the presence of a minor or forcing the minor to masturbate
  • Obscene phone calls, text messages, or digital interaction
  • Producing, owning, or sharing pornographic images or movies of children
  • Sex of any kind with a minor, including vaginal, oral, or anal
  • Sex trafficking
  • Any other sexual conduct that is harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Bleeding, bruises, or swelling in genital area
  • Bloody, torn, or stained underclothes
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Frequent urinary or yeast infections
  • Pain, itching, or burning in genital area.

Behavioral signs of sexual abuse in a child:

  • Changes in hygiene, such as refusing to bathe or bathing excessively
  • Develops phobias
  • Exhibits signs of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Expresses suicidal thoughts, especially in adolescents
  • Has trouble in school, such as absences or drops in grades
  • Inappropriate sexual knowledge or behaviors
  • Nightmares or bed-wetting
  • Overly protective and concerned for siblings, or assumes a caretaker role
  • Returns to regressive behaviors, such as thumb sucking
  • Runs away from home or school
  • Shrinks away or seems threatened by physical contact.


Neglect is a type of child abuse in which parents or caregiver are failed to provide the basic necessities of life to children such as food, shelter, health and developmental facilities, clean environment and proper clothing as per the need of the children.


It is hard to find out if a child is neglected but if the following signs are observed in a child then it is needed to ask the child about his problems. Often children themselves don’t know what they are going through.

  1. smelly or dirty.
  2. hungry or don’t have money to buy food.
  3. inappropriate clothing.
  4. health or dental issues untreated.
  5. frequent absence from school.

Effects of neglect:

Neglect changes childhood. Children who’ve been neglected might experience short-term and long-term effects. These can include:

  • Changed brain development and architecture.
  • Involve in risky activities, such as running away from home, in to drugs and alcohol addiction.
  • getting into dangerous relationships
  • difficulty with relationships in coming life, including with their own children
  • a higher risk of having psychological health problems, including depression.


  • Radford, L. et al (2011) Child abuse and neglect in the UK today. London: NSPCC.
  • Sources: Based on data from Department for Education, Stats Wales, Children’s Social Care Statistics (NI), and Scottish Government and Brandon, M. et al. (2013)
  • Neglect and serious case reviews: a report from the university of East Anglia commissioned by NSPCC (PDF).

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