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Abuse in families

Sadly, child abuse is common in the United States: Around 1 out of 4 U.S. kids experiences some of kind of mistreatment at some point.

Child abuse can happen to children of any age, from infants to teenagers. An abuser can be any person responsible for taking care of the child.

Types of child abuse include:

  • Causing physical pain
  • Doing something sexual
  • Emotionally abusing the person, such as often insulting, threatening, or ignoring the person
  • Not taking care of the child or teen

Child abuse is wrong, and it is never the fault of the child being abused. Everyone deserves to be safe and feel cared for. If you or someone you know has been abused, call the 24-hour Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453). Young people in danger also can get help at places with the yellow "Safe Place" sign, such as libraries, schools, and fire stations. To find one, you can text your current location to 69866.

You can learn more about child abuse, including the effects of abuse and why it may happen.

Sometimes, adults abuse other adults. Seeing violence in your home is awful, but you can get help. Learn more about coping with domestic violence.


Content last reviewed September 16, 2015
Page last updated August 24, 2018