Difference between abuse and neglect
abuse vs neglect:
Abuse and neglect are both negative terms used to express situations that are unpleasant. Yet, in terms of mistreatment of children, the words abuse and neglect often come together. Yet, despite the blatant negativity of the terms is the common factor here, these two are very different words, in terms of their usage, definitions and in terms of the words themselves as well.
What is abuse?
Abuse can be used in many contexts with regards to various things. Abuse in a human rights sense could refer to cases such as child abuse where a child has been treated badly, physically injured as well as mentally corrupted. Abuse can be sexual abuse as well where a child is being used as a sex object against his or her will. Abuse can also be used in a sense of using defamatory language with the aim of shaming an individual or hurting his or her feelings. Abuse can also be used in instances where certain drugs and illegal substances have been misused to the point of being unacceptable. Some synonyms for abuse are exploitation, mishandling, misuse, slander, damage, corrupt, etc.
What is neglect?
Neglect can be generally defined as ignoring or failing to do something that is required to be done or given proper attention to. In the case mistreatment of children, neglect too is considered as a crime. Child neglect can be of five sorts such as physical neglect, emotional neglect, educational neglect, medical neglect and chronic neglect which refer to the blatant indifference of the child’s guardians to some of the most crucial parts of a child’s life.
Some synonyms for neglect are disregard, indifference, ignore, carelessness, rebuff, discard, etc.
What is the difference between abuse and neglect?
Abuse can be either physical, mental or sexual and this involves physically harming someone although verbal abuse only hurts someone’s feelings or reputation. In terms of child mistreatment, abuse would mean physically harming the child, sexually exploiting him or her and also, mentally and emotionally abusing the child as well. Neglect means that one fails to do something or ignores a deed of which the execution is crucial for someone’s well being. In terms of child mistreatment, neglect refers to a child not getting the shelter, schooling, clothing, medical care, or protection that he or she needs from his or her guardians which in turn may turn in to abuse.
While neglect does not involve physical harm to the child, it is possible that neglect can eventually turn in to physical harm with time. For example if a guardian ignores and is indifferent to a child’s sickness and does not get him the proper medical attention, his or her health will deteriorate day by day at the end of which, negligence can cause a life.
Whereas abuse is intentional, neglect can be unintentional as well. Whereas in terms of abuse, one has to have the motive of harming a child, negligence can happen spontaneously. For example a single mother who has to run two jobs to support her family may be neglecting her child, not intentionally but unknowingly.