Being mistreated or abused, sometimes referred to as "significant harm" is defined as sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect or emotional abuse.

Physical abuse 

When an adult deliberately hurts a child, such as hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning or suffocating. 

Emotional abuse

This would happen, for instance, when a child is being unfairly blamed for everything all the time, or told they are stupid and made to feel unhappy. 

Sexual abuse 

An example of sexual abuse would be where a child has been forced to take part in sexual activities or in the taking of rude photos. 


This includes things such as calling names, damaging property, stealing, spreading rumours, cyberbullying, hurting, getting people into trouble. 

Domestic abuse 

When one adult in a family or relationship threatens, bullies or hurts another adult e.g. physically, psychologically, emotionally, sexually or financially. 


Where a child is not being looked after properly, for example not getting enough to eat or being left alone in dangerous situations.