What is child abuse?

Child abuse means that a parent or caregiver hurts a child or does not protect a child. Child abuse can be:

  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Emotional
  • Psychological
  • Neglect

Child abuse is a crime in Canada. It is against the law.

Find information about the signs of child abuse.

If you know a child who is abused, you must report it.

I think a child is being abused. What do I do?

For More Information

  • Family Abuse: What it is and how to identify it - Abuse can be physical, emotional or sexual.  While some forms of abuse can be obvious, abuse isn’t always easy to identify – even when it’s happening in your own family. From Kids Help Phone.
  • Child Abuse Information for Families - Provides information on child abuse, including how to report abuse and how to help an abused child. Provided by Boost Child Abuse Prevention & Intervention.
  • Children's Mental Health Centres - This portal can help you find the nearest treatment centre for children's mental health problems. From Children's Mental Health Ontario.
  • Children's Aid: Information for Parents - This fact sheet has information about when a Children's Aid Society (CAS) might contact a family, and what to do if a CAS contacts you. From CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario). You can get it in many languages.
  • Family Law - Clear language publications on family law and related topics. From Community Legal Educaiton Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario.
Last updated: September 24, 2019 4001344