Child abuse is the intentional use of physical force or intentional omission of care by a parent or caretaker that causes a child to be hurt, maimed, or killed. In the Canada the exact incidence of child abuse and neglect is unknown, but is recognized as a major social problem. Under Provincial laws requiring physicians and encouraging other persons to report incidents of suspected abuse, more than two million cases of neglect and physical abuse are reported annually with child abuse it covers a wide range of parental actions that result in harm being inflicted on children of all ages. The kind of abuse, however, varies with age. Infants and preschool children are most likely to suffer deliberately inflicted fractures, burns, and bruises. This is known as the battered child syndrome.
During the 1960's there were reported cases of sexual abuse, ranging from molestation to incest, primarily involved male perpetrators and school-aged or adolescent female victims.