Different Types of Child Abuse

Most Common Types


The most common types of child maltreatment are neglect, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.



Failure of the child's caretaker to provide adequate care for the child.

Examples of this form of child maltreatment include:

  • a lack of supplying adequate food, shelter, season-appropriate clothing, supervision, medical or mental health care, or a lack of providing appropriate emotional comfort.
  • supervision neglect is the most common form of child neglect.

Physical Abuse


This involves a caretaker inflicting physical injury on a child through assault. This includes:

  • Corporal punishment that results in physical injuries, like bruises, scratches, welts, or broken bones.

Emotional Abuse


This involves statements by a caretaker that can injure a child's sense of self-esteem.

Examples of emotional abuse include:

  • calling the child negative names
  • cursing at the child, or
  • otherwise insulting the child

Sexual Abuse


This involves exposing the child to inappropriate sexual content, behavior, or contact. This can include:

  • allowing the child to see pornography or sexual acts, or
  • a caretaker having sexual contact with the child