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
Perspectives nouvelles sur l'attachement à partir d'études sur les problèmes extériorisés des enfants

Paquette, Daniel

2007 Journal article
The everyday occurrence: Violence in the lives of girls exploited through prostitution

Nixon, Kendra
Tutty, Leslie M.
Downe, Pamela
Gorkoff, Kelly
Ursel, Jane

2002 Journal article
Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect 2003 (CIS-2003): Major Findings

Nico Trocmé
Barbara Fallon
Bruce MacLaurin
Joanne Daciuk
Caroline Felstiner
Tara Black
Lil Tonmyr
Cindy Blackstock
Ken Barter
Daniel Turcotte
Richard Cloutier

2005 Report
Transmission intergénérationnelle de la maltraitance : étude des liens entre les facteurs de protection et les facteurs de risque auprès d’une population de mères en difficulté

Moreau, Jacques
Chamberland, Claire
Oxman-Martinez, Jacqueline
Roy, Catherine
Léveillé, Sophie
Laporte, Lise
Tabakian, Nayiri

2001 Report
Injuries caused by child abuse and neglect

Montgomery, Victor
Trocmé, Nico

2004 Information sheet
Meeting Them "Where They're At": Intensive School-Based Psychotherapy for Children Who Have Been Maltreated

Mishna, Faye

2007 Journal article
Child physical abuse and suicide-related behavior: A systematic review

Mironova, Polina
Rhodes, Anne E.
Bethell, Jennifer M.
Tonmyr, Lil
Boyle, Michael H.
Wekerle, Christine
Goodman, Deborah
Leslie, Bruce

2011 Journal article
Entente multisectorielle relative aux enfants victimes d’abus sexuels, de mauvais traitements physiques ou d’une absence de soins menaçant leur santé physique

Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux
Ministère de la Justice
Ministère de la Sécurité publique
Ministère de l'Éducation
Ministère de la Famille et de l'Enfance

2001 Report
Trauma-Related Symptoms in Neglected Preschoolers and Affective Quality of Mother-Child Communication

Milot, Tristan
St-Laurent, Diane
Ethier, Louise S.
Provost, Marc A.

2011 Journal article
BC's Children in Care: Improving Data and Outcomes Reporting

McKinnon, Ian

2006 Report