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child abuse

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The maltreatment of children. It may take the form of sexual abuse, when a child is involved in sexual activity by an adult; physical abuse, when physical injury is caused by cruelty or undue punishment (see nonaccidental injury); neglect, when basic physical provision for needs is lacking; and emotional abuse, when lack of affection and/or hostility from caregivers damage a child’s emotional development (see attachment disorder). ChildLine website: advice on physical, emotional, and sexual abuse together with a confidential helpline

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