What is Child Abuse?

Child Abuse is the non-accidental comminsion of any act upon a child under age 18 which causes or creates a substantial risk of physical pain or emotional injury or any sexual contact between a person and a child including pornography and sexual exploitation.

Forms of Child Abuse

Emotional Injury is an impairment to or disorder of the intellectual or psychological capacity of a child as evidenced by observable and substantial reduction in the child's ability to function within a normal range of performance and behavior.

Neglect is a failure by a caretaker, either deliberately or through negligence or inability to take those actions necessary to provide a child with minimally adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, supervision, emotional stability and growth, or other essential care provided however, that such inability is not due solely to inadequate economic resources or solely to the existence of handicapping condition.

Abusive Head Trauma is trauma/injury sustained to the head of a young child when method/mode of injury is not indicated.

Physical Injury includes death, fracture of a bone, subdural hematoma, burns, impairment of any organs and any other such nontrivial injury, soft tissue swelling or skin bursting, depending upon such factors as the child's age, circumstances under which the injury occurred and the number and location of bruises; or addiction to a drug or drugs at birth or failure to thrive.

Sexual Abuse occurs when an adult or an older child asks or pressures a child for sexual contact. The abuser may use physical abuse, bribery, threats, tricks or take advantage of a child's limited knowledge of sexual matters.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children involves an exchange of goods including but not limited to money, food, or shelter for sexual acts of a child. Commercial Sexual Exploitation of children can also be defined as buying, trading or selling sexual acts from a child.

Human Trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, and/or receipt of a child by threat or use of force for the purpose of exploitation including labor, slavery, and sexual exploitation.

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Signs of Child Abuse


Essex CAC strives to reduce the impact of trauma on victims and families, while increasing access to child and family advocates, medical evaluation and treatment, mental health referral and the criminal justice system.


The Essex CAC is a public-private partnership agency that works closely with key partners who have signed memorandums of understanding.  


The Essex CAC provides the following services: Multidisciplinary Team Investigation, Specialized Medical Evaluations and Consultation and referral for Trauma Informed Mental Health intervention.


What is Child Abuse and what can I do? Information for parents and professionals. Important links to relevant resources.

News & Events

The Essex CAC hosts and participates in events that further their goals to provide quality care and services to the community. Check back frequently to see what we are up to.


The Essex CAC services are offered by appointment only. For information please call the Essex CAC at 978-745-6610 Ext. 5173. For medical appointments and questions please call the PediSANE Nurse at 978-984-7535.

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