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Statistics, crime reports, and newspaper articles reveal that for many children, childhood is anything but pleasant; it is frightening, sad, and even horrific. Parents and other adults do not necessarily guard children against harm, and abuse can be perpetrated in a variety of ways: physical neglect and physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

Physical neglect is the failure to provide the child with the basic necessities of life: food, clothing, schooling, medical care, and a place to live. Physical abuse results from nonaccidental physical injury to a child: broken bones, abrasions, lacerations, burns, bruises, internal injuries, and head injuries. Emotional abuse is the failure to provide appropriate attention and affection, perhaps by chronic belittling and humiliation. Sexual abuse is any type of inappropriate sexual activity with a ...

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