This module focuses on the physical and emotional maltreatment of children at the hands of their parents or caregivers. Research show that both these forms of abuse often coexist and that both of them may have long-term serious negative consequences for the child well-being and health.

Physical and emotional maltreatment in the family is a very difficult and confusing experience for children, as the abusers are those who should provide a caring and safe environment. Indeed, despite the suffering caused by maltreatment, children still love their parents and are dependent on them. At the same time, they can also experience a sense of shame as a result of what is happening to them and, sometimes, they may feel that they have no one to turn to for help.

The child’s teacher may well be the only person who can make a difference in the child’s life and protect the child from maltreatment. Therefore, it is important for teachers to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms that physical and/or emotional abuse in occurring in the home and risk factors for child maltreatment, as well as learning efficient ways of intervening and helping children with these experiences.