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.
  • Navigate the Child Welfare System - A guide for Ontario's Black community from the One Vision One Voice program led by the African Canadian community. It is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services through the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies.
Last updated: September 24, 2019 4001344