There are various types of abuse and neglect, and the symptoms of abuse and neglect may vary from child to child. The Child Welfare Information Gateway has a fact sheet that may be of help.
Child Abuse and Neglect Definition
Federal legislation provides guidance to states by identifying a minimum set of acts or behaviors that define child abuse and neglect. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) (42 U.S.C.A. § 5106g), as amended by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010, defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum:
- "Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation"; or
- "An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm."
This definition of child abuse and neglect refers to parents and other caregivers. A "child" under this definition means a person who is younger than age 18 or who is not an emancipated minor.
Your state or territory may also define child abuse and neglect in their laws.
For more information on child abuse and neglect, visit childwelfare.gov.