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 Year Type of Publicationsort icon
Domestic violence: Protecting children by involving fathers and helping mothers

Lavergne, Chantal
Chamberland, Claire
Laporte, Lise
Baraldi, Rosanna

2003 Information sheet
Gender differences in perceptions of domestic violence

Chamberland, Claire
Léveillé, Sophie
Baraldi, Rosanna

2006 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
Ontario incidence study of reported child abuse and neglect 1993/1998: Maltreatment rates

Trocmé, Nico
Siddiqi, Jasmine
Fallon, Barbara
MacLaurin, Bruce
Sullivan, Sue

2002 Information sheet
Ontario incidence study of reported child abuse and neglect 1993/1998: Source of referrals

Trocmé, Nico
Neves, Teresa
Fallon, Barbara
MacLaurin, Bruce
Sullivan, Sue

2002 Information sheet
Physical abuse of children in the context of punishment

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

2004 Information sheet
Physical punishment of children

Durrant, Joan
Ensom, Ron

2004 Information sheet
Psychological abuse: Children's invisible suffering

Chamberland, Claire
Laporte, Lise
Lavergne, Chantal
Baraldi, Rosanna

2003 Information sheet