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Child abuse is the physical, psychological or sexual maltreatment of children. While most child abuse happens in the child's home, a significant portion also occurs in organizations involving children, such as churches, schools, child care businesses, and residential schools.
There are many forms of abuse and neglect and many governments have developed their own legal definition of what constitutes child maltreatment for the purposes of removing a child and/or prosecuting a criminal charge. In the United States, the Federal Government puts out a full definition of child abuse and neglect and creates a summary of each State definition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines child maltreatment as any act or series of acts or commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child. Examples of acts of commission include physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. Examples of acts of omission include failure to provide (physical, emotional, medical/dental, or educational neglect) or failure to supervise (inadequate supervision, or exposure to violent environments.)