Types of harm
Child abuse refers to significant harm or injury to a child that is not caused by an accident.
It can be caused by:
- the actions or behaviour of a parent, a person with parental responsibility or a person known to the child
- a parent's failure to protect a child from being abused or neglected
- repeated abusive or neglectful events that happen over time.
Harm can be one or more of the following types.
This refers to physical injuries that are not accidental - or where there is significant risk of injury happening - due to the actions or lack of action of a parent or caregiver.
This happens when any sexual activity involves a child, or sexual threats are made to a child.
It can include encouraging a child or young person to do, watch, or hear something sexually explicit.
This happens when the behaviour or attitude of a parent or caregiver towards a child negatively affects (or could affect) the child's social, emotional or developmental growth.
It includes failure to provide for the child's:
- emotional needs for nurturing and security
- developmental needs for stimulation and interaction with other people and their environment.
This happens when a child's basic necessities of life are not met by their parent or caregiver.
Exposing a child to violence
This includes when a child is living in a home where family or domestic violence happening.
This information was adapted from the Parent Easy Guide series © Parenting SA, Government of South Australia.
Last updated: 01 February 2019