What is child abuse?
Child abuse is any action by another person – adult or child – that causes significant harm to a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional, but can just as often be about a lack of love, care and attention. We know that neglect, whatever form it takes, can be just as damaging to a child as physical abuse.
An abused child will often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties in their lives. It often happens over a period of time, rather than being a one-off event. And it can increasingly happen online.
We estimate that over half a million children are abused in the UK each year.
Types of child abuse
Child sexual exploitation
Female genital mutilation (FGM)
Bullying and cyberbullying
Harmful sexual behaviour
Are you worried about a child?
Signs, symptoms and effects of child abuse and neglect
What to do if you suspect abuse
Putting infant mental health in the spotlight
Make a donation
A child will contact Childline every 25 seconds. Donate now and help us be there for every child.