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 Authors Yearsort icon Type of Publication
The Relationship Between Parental Substance Abuse and Child Maltreatment: Findings from the Ontario Health Supplement

Walsh, Christine A.
MacMillan, Harriet
Jamieson, Ellen

2003 Journal article
Nature and Severity of Physical Harm Caused by Child Abuse and Neglect: Results from the Canadian Incidence Study

Trocmé, Nico
MacMillan, Harriet
Fallon, Barbara
De Marco, Richard

2003 Journal article
Predictors of Maternal Support: The Point of View of Adolescent Victims of Sexual Abuse and Their Mothers

Cyr, Mireille
Wright, John
Toupin, Jean
Oxman-Martinez, Jacqueline
McDuff, Pierre
Thériault, Chantal

2003 Journal article
Physical harm and family composition: Maltreated children with developmental delay

Brown, Ivan
Schormans, Ann Fudge

2004 Information sheet
Maltreatment rates in children with developmental delay

Brown, Ivan
Schormans, Ann Fudge

2004 Information sheet
Single mothers of children with developmental delay: Maltreatment and life stressors

Schormans, Ann Fudge
Brown Ivan

2004 Information sheet
False Allegations of Abuse and Neglect

Knott, Theresa
Trocmé, Nico
Bala, Nicholas

2004 Information sheet
Injuries caused by child abuse and neglect

Montgomery, Victor
Trocmé, Nico

2004 Information sheet
Promotion of family wellness and prevention of child maltreatment: Which programs are effective?

MacLeod, Jennifer
Nelson, Geoffrey
Desmarais, Sonia

2004 Information sheet
Physical abuse of children in the context of punishment

Trocmé, Nico
Durrant, Joan
Ensom, Ron
Marwah, Inder

2004 Information sheet