‘’Any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other care giver (e.g., mothers, families, teachers) that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child.’’
There are many types of maltreatment that children and young people could face. These types of maltreatment are abuse (Physical, emotional, intellectual and sexual) neglect, bullying and harassment.
Physical Abuse - Physical abuse is when someone deliberately hurts or injures you. It can include hitting, kicking, hair pulling, beating with objects, throwing and shaking.
Emotional Abuse - Emotional abuse is the ongoing emotional maltreatment or emotional neglect of a child. It's sometimes called psychological abuse and can seriously damage a child's emotional health and development.
Intellectual Abuse - Disrespect for another's learning style, way of thinking or intellectual interests. This can involve ridiculing a child's carefully thought out ideas or devaluing a person's opinions. Calling a child 'stupid' or 'slow' is another form of intellectual abuse.
Sexual Abuse - Sexual abuse can be either of these; Unwanted kissing or touching, unwanted rough or violent sexual activity, rape or attempted rape, refusing to use condoms or restricting someone’s access to birth control, keeping someone from protecting themselves from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Neglect - Neglect and act of omission can be either of these; Ignoring medical or physical care needs, neglect of accommodation, heating, lighting etc. Failure to access care or equipment for functional independence and failure to give privacy and dignity
Bullying - Bullying can be either of these; Spreading malicious rumours, gossip, or innuendo that is not true, excluding or isolating someone socially, intimidating a person, undermining or deliberately impeding a person's work, physically abusing or threatening abuse.
Harassment – harassment is when someone behaves in a way which makes you feel distressed, humiliated or threatened. Risk of maltreatment
Children and young people may be at risk of maltreatment from people within family e.g. brothers, sisters, dads or mums, Outside the family e.g. family friends, neighbours. Abuse can also take place in care settings such as doctors, teachers and child minders. Lastly abuse can take place by complete strangers, for example a child may be walking home from school.
Indicators of maltreatment
Children may present with both physical and psychological symptoms and signs that institute warning of one or more types of maltreatment. Maltreatment may be detected by parents, carers, teachers or doctors. Factors that lead to suspicion of child maltreatment or abuse;
Bruising - children may have bruising due to abuse and maltreatment, depending where the bruises are teachers at the child’s school may notice which may lead to suspicion to maltreatment or abuse.
Unexplained injuries – Children may have unexplained injury’s such as scars and scratches that may have no reason for being there. Teachers, doctors and carers may notice the unexplained injuries; this would lead to suspicion of maltreatment.
Soreness – Children may experience soreness from places they have been hit before, leaving them in pain. This may lead to suspicion from teachers, doctors, carers if they notice the soreness.
Infections – If a child constantly has days of school due to infection it may raise suspicion from teachers that the child may be getting abuse or is suffering from maltreatment. Also depending of what infection is cause from, for example hygiene or unhealthy eating related, doctors may also be able to tell if abuse or maltreatment is present.
Underweight/Overweight – Children that are underweight/overweight are at risk of maltreatment or may be maltreated, teachers, doctors and carers would be able to suspect maltreatment due to this.
Poor personal hygiene – Poor hygiene shows signs of neglect, this can be…