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Types of abuse

Following the formation of the Swindon Safeguarding Partnership on 28 July 2019, the LSCB no longer exists. This page will be updated to reflect the new partnership shortly.

What is abuse?

Being mistreated or abused (sometimes called significant harm) is often put into four groups:

Physical abuse

physical abuse image of a fist

Physical abuse is when an adult deliberately hurts a child such as hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning or suffocation.

Emotional abuse

emotional abuse image of tearful eye

Emotional abuse could happen, for example, if a child is always being blamed for everything or told that they are stupid and made to feel unhappy.


neglect image of a person alone in a house

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

Sexual abuse

sexual abuse image of an exclamation mark

Sexual abuse could be where a child is made to take part in sexual activities or in the taking of rude photos.

How to keep you and your friends safe

  • Tell someone you trust if someone is making you feel uncomfortable
  • If you think someone is behaving suspiciously, tell someone
  • Don't take gifts from people you don't know very well
  • Don't leave home without telling your parents or carers where you are going
  • Shout loudly if someone is asking you to do something you are not happy about
  • Never accept lifts from strangers
  • If you go out with friends, stick together, even if you fall out