Child Abuse and Child Neglect

Child abuse and child neglect have different meanings, they are both associated with maltreatment of a person, psychologically and emotionally. �Child abuse' is a misuse of power, done by an adult/caregiver, usually causing harm.

On the other hand, �child neglect' is a type of child abuse, a deliberate or unintentional act of a parent/caregiver who fails to give proper care/attention to the child. 
When a caregiver does not prevent the harm to the child, it is considered neglect as well.

Child abuse may be physical, verbal/emotional and sexual, detrimental to the healthy development of a child. Physical abuse includes hitting, slapping, burning, using a weapon, etc. leaving a mark on the body which is in contrast to emotional and/or verbal abuse. Emotional abuse is inadequate caring, saying or doing things that make a child feel unloved, unwanted, unsafe, worthless, isolated, belittled, and humiliated. It may not leave visible scars but it takes a toll on the child's psychological well-being and takes longer to recover from.

Another form of abuse is sexual abuse, occurring when a person tries by force to have sexual contact for his own gratification. This includes rape/sodomy/sexual penetration and fondling. Children who have been abused often develop maladaptive behavior, post traumatic stress disorder, guilt, self blame, poor relationship problem, aggression, self- destructive behavior, poor self esteem and school performance, etc.

Like abuse, neglect can also be physical, emotional/psychological, educational and medical.


 Physical neglect is when a parent/caregiver does not provide the necessities for the child � food, clothing, safety, inadequate supervision, abandonment and child selling. Such neglect/rejection affects the child's growth, causing malnutrition, serious illnesses, physical harm and related injuries.
Emotional and psychological neglect occurs when a parent engages in spousal abuse in the presence of the child, allows the child to use drugs/alcohol, withholding emotions, belittling the child and using extreme punishment.
Educational neglect includes failure to enrol child in school/special education when needed, which might result in suspension from school; and allowing an older child to be responsible for his sibling's education, as it deprives the child of having his own needs met and does not allow the child to learn life skills.
Medical neglect is when the parent or the caregiver does not provide appropriate healthcare, which causes serious and significant deterioration and places the child at risk of dying. The neglect can happen during pregnancy � when a parent uses alcohol or drugs. Besides, malnutrition which has a detrimental effect on the child's health and well-being. The first year of life for children is very important as it can affect other areas of development � psychological, social, behavioral and intellectual. Neglect might not be recognizable most of the time, unless in some extreme cases, depending on its frequency, duration and severity.
The effects of child neglect are quite detrimental to the brain. It increases the risk of developing a variety of psychological and behavioral problems, like depression, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), delinquency, stress and antisocial behavior, feeling of loneliness, isolation, and low self esteem. Early intervention results in better recovery.
In order to discipline children, we must demonstrate care and love for them, teaching them to differentiate between right and wrong and to make healthy choices in a respectful, balanced way. Every parent should teach children logical consequences for their behavior, as it helps them be responsible and accountable for their actions.
Child abuse and neglect happen at all economic status levels, within good and bad families, within all education levels, involving family members as well as strangers. It takes a moment for that child or any child to get injured � the regret and guilt will last long and is difficult to overcome.
Thinking back to the child I saw in the park makes me very aware that each of us has a responsibility to protect children and should not turn a blind eye when a child behaves strangely or has marks and bruises.


Yesterday I have  visited Gill Shelter old age home ,They are  sincerely working hard to help old age people ,who can not be taken care at home due to their illness ,you are requested to to help them.Need of old age homes become truth in Pakistan ,We need to encourage these people who are running old age homes. For details ,visit
Best regards Umer Zubair  .

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