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Different types of child maltreatment

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Child Maltreatment

Q: What are the different types of child maltreatment?

A: Child maltreatment occurs when a caretaker is responsible for, or permits, the abuse or neglect of a child. There are several different types of child maltreatment.

  • Medical neglect: caused by failure of the caregiver to provide for the appropriate health care of the child although financially able to do so, or offered financial or other resources to do so.
  • Neglect or Deprivation of Necessities: failure by the caregiver to provide needed, age-appropriate care although financially able to do so or offered financial or other means to do so. This includes not meeting a child’s educational needs.
  • Physical abuse: includes physical acts that caused or could have caused physical injury to the child, including excessive corporal punishment.
  • Psychological or Emotional maltreatment: acts or omissions—other than physical abuse or sexual abuse—that caused or could have caused—conduct, cognitive, affective, or other behavioral or mental disorders. Frequently occurs as verbal abuse or excessive demands on a child’s performance.
  • Sexual abuse: the involvement of the child in sexual activity to provide sexual gratification or financial benefit to the perpetrator, including contacts for sexual purposes, molestation, statutory rape, prostitution, pornography, exposure, incest, or other sexually exploitative activities.
  • Sex trafficking: refers to the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act. States have the option to report to NCANDS any sex trafficking victim who is younger than 24 years. Prior to FY2018, sex trafficking was included in sexual abuse.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://ojjdp.ojp.gov/statistical-briefing-book/victims/faqs/qa02101. Released on August 31, 2021.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. Child Maltreatment 2019. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.