Child Abuse: Definition
Child abuse is broadly defined in many states as any type of cruelty inflicted upon a child, including mental abuse, physical harm, neglect, and sexual abuse or exploitation. The specific crimes charged in instances of child abuse can include assault and battery. In many states, certain individuals and caregivers are required by law to report suspected child abuse. Nevertheless, unfortunately, many cases of child abuse go unreported.
A child who has been abused or neglected may experience a range of problems, such as relationship difficulties, lack of trust of adults, emotional outbursts (or retreat), low performance at school, depression, anxiety, and anger.
Signs of physical abuse can include:
Multiple injuries or fractures at different stages of healing
Explanations that do not fit the injury
A high frequency of injury
Bruises, lacerations, marks about the child’s body
Convention on the Rights of the Child
States Parties shall ensure that:
(a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be
imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age;
(b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or
imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last
resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;
(c) Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of
the human person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age.
In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in
the child’s best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family
through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances;
(d) Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other
appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her
liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt
decision on any such action.
Report Child Abuse
How to report concerns
There are several ways in which a person can contact the Authority to make a report. They are as follows:
Call the Children’s Authority Hotline: 996 or 800-2014
Send a fax: 625-4986
Email a report: Registry@ttchildren.org
Mail a report: 35A Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad