Child Abuse & Neglect

Child abuse and neglect include acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that result in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child.  The five primary forms of maltreatment are physical abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, emotional maltreatment and exposure to domestic violence.

For a document that outlines definitions of frequently used terms in child abuse and neglect research, see the page with the glossary of social work and child maltreatment related terms.

You can get more information on the signs of child maltreatment from the Family Violence Initiative, operated by the Department of Justice of Canada. You can also contact Kid’s Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 for further information.

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, or are looking for information about services for children or families experiencing difficulties you can contact your local child welfare authority. Click here to find the local child authority agency in your province or territory. Please visit our FAQs section to learn more about child abuse and neglect.

Title Authorssort icon Year Type of Publication
Factors associated with the sexual behavior of Canadian Aboriginal young people and their implications for health promotion

Devries, Karen M.
Free, Caroline J.
Morison, Linda
Saewyc, Elizabeth

2009 Journal article
The use of the NICHD protocol to enhance the quantity of details obtained from children with low verbal abilities in investigative interviews: A pilot study

Dion, Jacinthe
Cyr, Mireille

2008 Journal article
A prospective study of the impact of child maltreatment and friend support on psychological distress trajectory: From adolescence to emerging adulthood

Dion, Jacinthe
Matte-Gagné, Célia
Daigneault, Isabelle
Blackburn, Marie-Eve
Hébert, Martine
McDuff, Pierre
Auclair, Julie
Veillette, Suzanne
Perron, Michel

2016 Journal article
Report of the Domestic Violence Prevention Committee

Domestic Violence Prevention Committee (DVPC)

2009 Report
A controlled evaluation of family behavior therapy in concurrent child neglect and drug abuse

Donohue, Brad
Azrin, Nathan H.
Bradshaw, Kelsey
Van Hasselt, Vincent B.
Cross, Chad L.
Urgelles, Jessica
Romero, Valerie
Hill, Heather H.
Allen, Daniel N. 

2014 Journal article
Who are these parents involved in child neglect? A differential analysis by parent gender and family structure

Dufour, Sarah
Lavergne, Chantal
Larrivée, Marie-Claude
Trocmé, Nico

2008 Journal article
The CRABE Project: Maps of Child Maltreatment and Associated Factors - An Interactive Diagnostic Tool for Communities

Dufour, Sarah
Pitre, Patrice
Mayer, Micheline
Carrière, Jean
Massicotte, Karina

2006 Information sheet
Distinguishing Physical Punishment from Physical Abuse: Implications for Professionals

Durrant, Joan E.

2006 Journal article
Defining ‘reasonable force’: Does it advance child protection?

Durrant, Joan E.
Fallon, Barbara
Lefebvre, Rachael
Allan, Kate

2017 Journal article
Protection of Children from Physical Maltreatment in Canada: Evaluation of the Supreme Court’s Definition of Reasonable Force

Durrant, Joan E.
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
Milne, Cheryl
Black, Tara

2009 Journal article