Child Abuse is Wrong: What Can I Do?

To the reader

This booklet is for the parents or guardians of children. It talks about child abuse in families. It answers questions about the law on child abuse in Canada.

This booklet may also be useful even if you are not a parent, but you believe a child you know is being abused.

Although laws in Canada related to children may use different ages, in this booklet, a child means a person less than 18 years old. This booklet answers questions like:

  • What types of abuse can children go through?
  • Where can you find help as a parent or guardian?
  • What kind of discipline is okay to use with your children?
  • When should you report suspected child abuse?

Parenting is a difficult job, even when things are going well. But sometimes parents find themselves under a lot of stress and it gets even harder.

You are responsible for the safety and well-being of your children. If you or your partner is struggling to be a good parent, but you think you could do better, or need to undo patterns you may have lived when you were young, ask for help. It is often impossible for abuse to stop by itself. Abuse is a choice - a bad choice - and the family may need counselling to break the patterns of violence and abuse.

Think of your children. Children who are abused or neglected may do poorly in school or in social situations. They may grow up to be abusive or to be victims of abuse. There can be long-term physical or mental health problems.

NOTE: Words marked by an asterisk* are defined in the back of this book under "Words used in this booklet."

Disclaimer: Please note that this publication is not a legal document. It contains only general information. For legal advice about your situation, you may wish to speak to a lawyer.

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