Say no to child abuse
If you believe a child is in immediate danger call Police on 111. If you're concerned about a child call Oranga Tamariki on 0508 326 459

Facts about Child Abuse

Child Abuse is mistreatment of a child by a parent or caregiver, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation and emotional abuse.

Vector drawing of a girl sitting with her head on her knees and text showing the types of child abuse

Physical Abuse

Any use of physical force against a child that doesn’t happen by accident and causes injury

Signs of physical abuse in a child:

  • Any injury to a child who is not crawling yet.
  • Visible and severe injuries.
  • Injuries at different stages of healing.
  • On different surfaces of the body.
  • Unexplained or explained in a way that doesn’t make sense.
  • Distinctive shape.
  • Frequency, timing and history of injuries (frequent, after weekends, vacations, school absences).

Child Neglect

Child neglect is when a parent or caregiver persistently fails to meet the basic physical and psychological needs of a child, resulting in impairment of the child’s health or development.

Signs of neglect in a child:

  • Clothing that is the wrong size, in disrepair, dirty, or not right for the weather.
  • Often hungry, stockpiles food, seeks food, may even show signs of malnutrition (like distended belly, protruding bones).
  • Very low body weight, height for age.
  • Often tired, sleepy, listless.
  • Hygiene problems, body odor.
  • Talks about caring for younger siblings, not having a caregiver at home.
  • Untreated medical and dental problems, incomplete immunizations.
  • Truancy, frequently incomplete homework, frequent changes of school.

Emotional Abuse

A pattern of denying a child love, approval and security, or mistreating a child in the way an adult speaks to them or acts towards them. Bullying, yelling, isolating, criticizing, terrorizing, ignoring and shaming are all types of emotional abuse.

Signs of emotional abuse in a child:

  • Delays in development.
  • Wetting bed, pants.
  • Speech disorders.
  • Health problems like ulcers, skin disorders.
  • Obesity and weight fluctuation.
  • Habits like sucking, biting, rocking.
  • Learning disabilities and developmental delays.
  • Overly compliant or defensive.
  • Extreme emotions, aggression, withdrawal.
  • Anxieties, phobias, sleep disorders.
  • Destructive or anti-social behaviors (violence, cruelty, vandalism, stealing, cheating, lying).
  • Behavior that is inappropriate for age (too adult, too infantile).
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviours.

Sexual Abuse

All sexual touching between an adult and a child is sexual abuse. Sexual touching between children can also be sexual abuse when there is a significant age difference (often defined as 3 or more years) between the children or if the children are very different developmentally or size-wise. Sexual abuse does not have to involve penetration, force, pain, or even touching. If an adult engages in any sexual behavior (looking, showing, or touching) with a child to meet the adult’s interest or sexual needs, it is sexual abuse. This includes the manufacture, distribution and viewing of child pornography, now called child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

Signs of sexual abuse in a child:

  • Difficulty sitting, walking, bowel problems.
  • Torn, stained, bloody undergarments.
  • Bleeding, bruises, pain, swelling, itching of genital area.
  • Frequent urinary tract infections or yeast infections.
  • Any sexually transmitted disease or related symptoms.
  • Doesn’t want to change clothes (e.g., for P.E.).
  • Withdrawn, depressed, anxious.
  • Eating disorders, preoccupation with body.
  • Aggression, delinquency, poor peer relationships.
  • Poor self-image, poor self-care, lack of confidence.
  • Sudden absenteeism, decline in school performance.
  • Substance abuse, running away, recklessness, suicide attempts.
  • Sleep disturbance, fear of bedtime, nightmares, bed wetting (at advanced age)..
  • Sexual acting out, excessive masturbation.
  • Unusual or repetitive soothing behaviours (hand-washing, pacing, rocking, etc.).
  • Sexual behaviour or knowledge that is advanced or unusual.
  • Reports sexual abuse.

Support us in preventing child abuse

Because all children deserve to have big smiles on their face

Did you know?

  • One in four men and woman have been sexually abused?
  • Treatment for some abused victims has cost the taxpayer more than one million dollars?
  • Complications from abuse have later destroyed marriages, families and friends.

This is a serious issue

We aim to get people in our neighbourhoods talking. You can help families and communities find the words to overcome the silence and abuse.

We don’t want to create moral panic, we want to empower! It’s not okay to abuse or harm another human being.

Together we can do something about the damage being done to innocent children. By working with our communities, research has shown fewer children are likely to be abused.

How you can help

  • Your suggestions could translate into positive action and encourage survivors.
  • Your abilities could make a difference to the cause, please consider joining our Committee. We are always looking for volunteers.
  • We are a not-for-profit organisation, donations for training, books, meetings and advertising would be helpful.