Special Feature: Child Abuse

Child abuse, also called child maltreatment, can take many forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and many other types of harm.

Victimization by child abuse and neglect presents some of the most difficult and stressful cases faced by service providers and advocates. Child victims are extremely vulnerable, often completely helpless, and are often harmed by their caregivers.

When left unattended to, these experiences can lead to serious, long-term problems. For example, children who are mistreated have been shown to have developmental difficulties, problem behavior, and physical and mental health effects extending throughout their life. They are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol; suffer from depression and anxiety; fail or have difficulties in school; and become delinquent and engage in criminal behavior (Children’s Exposure to Violence, Crime, and Abuse: An Update, September 2015).

But there is hope. The Attorney General’s Defending Childhood Initiative is committed to preventing exposure to violence, minimizing harm, and spreading awareness about the critical role that parents, educators, and the community play in the well-being of America’s children.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time for raising awareness about child abuse and neglect. In recognition of the importance of ensuring child safety and welfare, NCJRS presents this compilation of publications and resources.

To learn more, select a topic from the section at the right under the heading "Child Abuse."