Information on Child Abuse

There are four major types of child maltreatment: neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse.  

Neglect is failure to provide for a child’s basic needs (food, clothing, shelter) or supervision.

Physical abuse is physical injury as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting, burning or otherwise harming a child.  Such injury is considered abuse regardless of whether or not the caretaker intended to hurt the child.  

Sexual abuse includes activities by a parent or caretaker, such as fondling a child’s genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure and commercial exploitation through prostitution or the exposure to or production of pornographic materials.

Emotional abuse is any 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 and guidance.

If you suspect a child is being abused, call 1-877-KY SAFE1 (1-877-597-2331) to make a confidential report.

To learn more about child abuse please contact your local DCBS office or 1-800-CHILDREN for more information.