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Which children are most vulnerable to abuse?

There is no way to know which children are most vulnerable to abuse, but there are some factors for abuse and neglect risk to be aware of

Child factors:
  • very young children
  • children with disabilities and health problems
  • children who have already been, or are currently being, abused and/or neglected
Parental factors:
  • parents who are young when child is born
  • parents who are poorly informed about parenting
  • mental health issues, especially untreated (e.g. depression, antisocial personality disorder, substance abuse and related disorders)
Other contextual factors:
Family factors
  • single parent households
  • intimate-partner violence
  • emotional and financial stress
Environmental factors
  • poverty
  • social isolation
  • violence in the community

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.