Physical abuse is deliberately hurting or injuring a child. This could be caused by hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or other physical harm. This type of abuse can leave more than physical marks on the body.
Child sexual abuse is when someone persuades or forces a child to take part in sexual activities, or encourages a child to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. It doesn’t necessarily involve physical contact and can also take place online.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child. It is sometimes called psychological abuse and can seriously damage a child’s mental health and wellbeing. Emotional abuse can take different forms.
Online abuse is any type of abuse that happens on the internet, through social media, online gaming or mobile phones. Children and young people may be the victims of online grooming, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or emotional abuse.
Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic and essential needs. This can include not getting enough to eat or being left alone in dangerous situations. Children need adequate food, water, shelter, warmth, protection and health care.
Domestic violence and abuse
Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a personal or family relationship. The most prevalent type of domestic abuse occurs in personal relationships.
Fabricated or induced illness
Fabricated or induced illness (FII) is a rare form of child abuse. It occurs when a parent or carer exaggerates or deliberately causes symptoms of illness in a child, and can cause significant harm both physically and emotionally.
Female genital mutilation
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is when a girl’s genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed for no medical reason. It is also known as female circumcision or cutting. It is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and 15 years old.
Child sexual exploitation
Many people have heard about Child Sexual Exploitation happening in other parts of the country but find it hard to believe it's happening here in Devon. Being aware of it is the first step towards putting a stop to it.
Radicalisation and extremism
Radicalisation is when someone starts to believe or support extreme views, and in some cases, then participates in terrorist groups or acts. Anyone can be radicalised, but factors such as being easily influenced and impressionable make children and young people particularly vulnerable.
Forced marriage and honour killings
Everyone has the right to choose who they marry and when they marry, or if they marry at all. Forced marriage is when someone does not consent and faces pressure to marry.
Child trafficking and modern slavery
Modern slavery is the recruitment, movement, harbouring or receiving of men, women or children using force, coercion, abuse of vulnerability, deception or other means in order to exploit them.
‘County lines’ is the police term used to describe gangs supplying drugs to suburban areas, market and coastal towns across the UK using dedicated mobile phone lines. These organised crime networks exploit children and young people to store, move, sell and deliver their drugs, often making them travel across counties.
Keeping children safe
Keeping children safe isn’t just about protecting them from physical abuse. It is important to be aware of issues such as cyberbullying, online grooming and sexually harmful behaviour.
Facts and figures
Child abuse can occur in a child’s home, or in the organisations, schools or communities the child interacts with. Abused children may experience different forms of abuse and are often abused over a period of time.
The NSPCC estimate that over half a million children are abused in the UK each year.