Contributing Factors of Child Abuse

Poverty & Economic Status (38%)

Other contributing stresses may include: an unwanted child, an unsupported single parent household and the absence of other means of social support, financial pressures and/or unemployment.

Inefficient Parental Capacity & Skills (23%)

Physical violence often originates from the lack of parenting skills – particularly in the ability to respond to a young child’s needs combined with unrealistic expectations for the stage of a child’s development. This can be affected by the cultural acceptance of corporal punishment and violence within a society.

Domestic Violence (18%)

Domestic violence is a crime against all family members, but its saddest victims are children. Seventy-percent of children living in violent homes are themselves physically abused or seriously neglected.
The most highly reported cases of abuse occurring in children 0-5 were of neglect, physical and other abuses.


Consistent and significant failure to provide the child with the essential necessities for living appropriate to the child’s level of development. Necessities include: Food, clothing, shelter, emotional security, psychological stimulation, medical needs and supervision.

Physical Abuse

Non-accidental injury inflicted on a child by a person in power (namely parents or caregiver). Such infliction usually does not happen only once, and may be a continuous thing. It is more often than not a pattern of behaviour that occurs over a period of time.
Physical abuse includes:

  • Punching, slapping, scalding, suffocating or strangulation, biting, hitting with an object (belt, fly swatter, stick, etc.), hair yanking and/or head stomping a child.
  • Throwing a child against a wall.
  • Causing a child to have bruising, lacerations or welts (possibly as a result of over punishment).
  • Intentionally dropping or shaking the child.

Other Abuses

These include abandonment, multiple types of maltreatment, imminent risk, substance abuse, dependency, threat of harm and bizarre discipline.

Emotional Abuse

Any repeated act which, results in the child suffering any kind of significant emotional deprivation or trauma.

This can include:

  • Depriving the child of love, warmth, and needed attention.
  • Ridiculing or making fun of the child.
  • Threatening and/or degrading the child.
  • Making comments that insults the child.