The Family Advocacy Program at Jacobi Medical Center

What is child abuse?

There are three commonly recognized categories of child abuse: physical, sexual, and emotional.

  1. Physical abuse is when a parent or a caregiver causes physical injury to a child. Examples include: punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking or burning.
  2. Sexual Abuse includes activities such as fondling a child's genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials (videos, photos).
  3. Emotional Abuse is a pattern of behavior that impairs a child's emotional development or sense of self-worth. This may include constant criticism, threats, or rejection, as well as withholding love, support, or guidance. Emotional abuse is almost always present when other forms of abuse are identified.
  4. Domestic Violence: Although DV is not a form of child abuse, children are very often emotionally affected or injured in the process. If you are a victim of domestic violence and would like help click: