Categories of Child Abuse

While Child Abuse is a highly subjective topic and cannot be restricted to a certain set of defined criteria, it would be really helpful for the simplified understanding of society to categorize the same. Once we are bold enough to suggest the various dimensions of child abuse, we will be in a better position to ensure child protection, child safety and ensure zero abuse. So here is the generally accepted, broad categorization of child abuse:-

  1. Parental or Guardian Neglect– This happens to be the trickiest area of child abuse because there are absolutely contrasting cultural understandings involved. Almost all cultures place parental responsibilities at different levels. What might be considered neglect in one culture, might be completely acceptable in another. For instance, it is common in many Asian countries for grown-up children and even teenagers to sleep in the same room as their parents. This is absolutely looked down upon in the West.
  2. Physical Abuse– This does not merely cover physical injury, but covers any way in which the child is subjected to even the fear of physical injury, strain or trauma. To a large extent, child labor and child trafficking fall into this category, but can also be enlisted in the two remaining categories mentioned below.
  3. Direct or Indirect Psychological Trauma– This has to do with neglecting the emotional needs of a child, causing stress, trauma or peer pressure. Very often, psychological trauma is known to occur in schools or scenarios amongst constantly bickering, unhappy parents.
  4. Sexual Abuse– Given the lack of awareness, most abusers escape scot-free or are sometimes brought to the task when it is too late. This is where immediate action is required, and children need to be made aware of appropriate and inappropriate sexual behavior from the very beginning.