Neglect is defined as the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic and essential needs. Children need adequate food, water, shelter, warmth, protection and health care and they need their carers to be attentive, dependable and kind. Neglect can have a debilitating and long-lasting effect on a child’s physical wellbeing, and on their mental, emotional and behavioural development. In some cases the effects can cause permanent disabilities and, in severe cases, death.
Child sexual abuse involves persuading or forcing a child to take part in sexual activities, or encouraging a child to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
If a child is deliberately hurt – causing them physical harm, such as cuts, bruises, broken bones or other injuries – it is physical abuse. It can include hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning and slapping. It is very difficult to know if an injury or behaviour is the result of physical abuse, as children may experience some injuries through accidents or play.
Emotional abuse is severe and persistent ill treatment of a child. It can have long-lasting and devastating effects on a child’s emotional health and development. Emotional abuse may be the only form of abuse suffered by a child, or it might be an element of other child abuse and neglect.
If you think a child is in immediate danger contact the police on 999, or call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, without delay. If you are worried about a child, but unsure, please contact the NSPCC helpline and discuss your concerns with trained counsellors. The counsellors will assess the information you give them and can take action on your behalf, if necessary. Alternatively, you can contact your local police or children’s services.
If you think you have been effected by abuse, contact our child abuse solicitors based in Yorkshire.