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What is physical child abuse?

Physical abuse is a subset of child abuse. Physical abuse involves physical aggression or injury directed at a child by an adult or care giver. We mean physical abuse if an adult hurts a child - causing them physical harm, such as cuts, bruises, broken bones or other injuries. It can include hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning and slapping.

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Domestic violence is also a form of physical abuse, even though the abuse is between two adults. The adults could be parents, married couples, girlfriends and boyfriends and same-sex relationships. It can be very scary if a child is caught up in domestic abuse.


Useful to know