What is Abuse and Neglect?

Seeking help for yourself or for someone you know that is being abused or neglected is a courageous decision. 

Let’s start with some definitions:

Abuse is the “violation of an individual’s human or civil rights, through the act or actions of another person or persons. ”

Neglect is a “failure to provide the necessary care, aid or guidance to dependent adults or children by those responsible for their care.”

Types of abuse include:

  • Physical abuse - such as punching, hitting, slapping, burning etc
  • Sexual abuse - forcing someone to take part in sexual activity against their will
  • Psychological or emotional abuse - threatening, harassing or intimidating a person
  • Constraints and restrictive practices - restraining or isolating people other than for medical necessity or to prevent immediate self harm
  • Financial abuse - the wrongful use of another person's assets or denying a person the use of their own assets
  • Legal or civil abuse
  • Systemic abuse

Types of neglect include:

  • Physical neglect - failure to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing and protection. Supervision medical or dental care that places people at undue risk through unsafe environments or practices
  • Passive neglect - withholding or failure to provide the necessities of life
  • Wilful deprivation - wilfully denying a person assistance and thereby exposing that person to the risk of physical, mental or emotional harm
  • Emotional neglect - restricting the social, intellectual and emotional growth or well being of a person

If you’re still unclear if your concern falls into the category of abuse and neglect you can read the formal definitions of abuse and neglect.