Child abuse refers to any emotional, sexual, or physical mistreatment or neglect by an adult in a role of responsibility toward someone who is under 18 years of age.

It refers to any kind of action or failure to act that results in harm or possible harm for a child. The adult may be a parent or other family member or another caregiver, including sports coaches, teachers, and so on.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classify the types of child abuse as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect.

Abuse often involves one or more of these types. Bullying is not included in these categories, but it is a way of delivering different kinds of abuse.

The action may or may not be violent.

It can happen at home or elsewhere, and it occurs in all cultures, countries, and economic classes. It usually involves a family member or friend, rather than a stranger.