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Safeguarding children – forms of abuse

Peter Ellis - Independent Nursing, Health and Social Care Consultant, Writer and Educator First published: Last updated:

It is important that nurses not only understand which children are more at risk of abuse, but also the forms that abuse might take. Understanding the forms of abuse which affect children means the nurse can:

  • Help protect the child from abuse
  • Be alert to the types of abuse which might be occurring
  • Interpret some of the signs and symptoms of abuse
  • Avoid being inadvertently abusive towards children in their care

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC, 2022) identify 13 forms of abuse which affect children, these are:

  1. Bullying and cyberbullying
  2. Criminal exploitation and gangs
  3. Domestic
  4. Emotional (psychological)
  5. Female genital mutilation
  6. Grooming
  7. Neglect
  8. Non-recent
  9. Online
  10. Physical
  11. Sexual
  12. Sexual exploitation
  13. Trafficking

Bullying and cyberbullying

Bullying takes many forms and is considered a major public health problem in childhood (World Health Organisation, 2012) and is often targeted towards children who are perceived as being in some different

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Peter Ellis

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