Difference Between Child Abuse and Child Neglect

Child Abuse vs Child Neglect
 

Learning the difference between child abuse and child neglect helps you to make sense of the two terms without confusing them. The ideas of child abuse and neglect can sometimes be confusing to understand. However, these two terms do not refer to the same thing, and there is a difference between the two. Child abuse is hurting a child in a physical, emotional, or sexual manner. Child neglect, on the other hand, is when a child is being neglected through, not having the love and attention, education and nutrition, etc. This is the basic difference between the two terms. This article attempts to highlight the difference between the two concepts while explaining the two terms.

What is Child Abuse?

Child abuse is when a child is being hurt. This can happen in three ways. They are Physical abuse, Emotional abuse, and Sexual abuse. Physical abuse includes hitting, kicking, burning, slapping, etc. Emotional abuse is when a child is being threatened, scolded, isolated, terrorized, corrupted, and even ignored. This makes the child feel unwanted and unloved. Emotional abuse can be as painful as physical abuse for a child and can affect negatively. The impacts of such abuses can be seen in later life even after the child grows into adulthood. Sexual abuse is another form of abuse where an older child or grown up engages in sexual activity with a child. These experiences can be traumatizing for the child. In most cases, young children believe that they are responsible for the act and feel depressed.

Difference Between Child Abuse and Child Neglect

What is Child Neglect?

Child neglect is when a child is not given what he or she needs. For example love, protection, security, education, nutritious food, medicine, clothes should be given to a child. Just as Abuse this can also be understood in different categories. Physical neglect is when the child is not provided basic needs such as clothes, shelter, food, etc. Emotional neglect is when the child is ignored by the caregiver. Such a child is not given love, attention, support, and encouragement. Educational neglect is when the child is not provided a good education. If the parent does not send the child to school but keeps the child at home to help out, this is a form of neglecting. Finally, Environmental neglect is when the child is denied opportunities. Imagine a particular child is skilled at sports. If the child does not get an opportunity and the necessary means to develop his skills then this is also a form of neglect. Unlike child abuse, it is difficult to identify neglect since it is not very explicit. However, both child abuse and neglect have negative impacts on the child and his growth.

Child Abuse vs Child Neglect

Street children are a good example for child neglect

What is the difference between Child Abuse and Child Neglect?

• Child abuse is hurting a child in a physical, emotional or sexual manner.

• Child neglect is when a child is being neglected through, not having love and attention, education and nutrition, etc.

• Child abuse is more explicit than child neglect.

• Both child abuse and child neglect have the capacity to harm the growth of a child.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Child abuse via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  2. Street children by Sumanth Garakarajula (CC BY 2.0)