Child abuse

Child abuse or child maltreatment is physical, sexual, and/or psychological maltreatment or neglect of a child or children, especially by a parent or a caregiver. Child abuse may include any act or failure to act by a parent or a caregiver that results in actual or potential harm to a child and can occur in a child's home, or in the organizations, schools, or communities the child interacts with.

Child Abuse Awareness Banner in Sarasota, Florida

The terms child abuse and child maltreatment are often used interchangeably, although some researchers make a distinction between them, treating child maltreatment as an umbrella term to cover neglect, exploitation, and trafficking.

Different jurisdictions have developed their own stance towards mandatory reporting, different definitions of what constitutes child abuse to remove children from their families or for prosecuting a criminal charge.