child abuse


Senior Member
When I looked up the word - abuse in the dictionary, I saw some synonyms such as mishandle, and maltreat.

Are these words totally same in meaning? Say, he abuses a child, which could be written as he mishandles / maltreats a child as well?
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I suspect that a dictionary is not the best place to look for an understanding of the term child abuse. Sometimes words have particular meanings to care professionals and those involved generally in a subject area.

    CLICK HERE for a reasonable set of definitions from the UK National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
    I'll leave it up to you to judge whether mishandles or maltreats would be appropriate equivalents to replace abuses.
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