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Difference Between Abuse and Neglect

Abuse vs Neglect

Abuse and neglect, they both have different meanings, but are associated with the emotional and physical wellbeing of a person. Abuse means maltreatment of a person, both physically as well as psychologically, and neglect means the failure to give proper care to a person, both in terms of physical and or psychological. Improper use or practice is abusing something, and failing to do something is neglecting somebody.

Abuse is the misuse of power, person and trust, whereas neglect is the deliberate act of forgetting and not caring. Abusing is harming someone or something, whereas neglect is not preventing the harmful action.

There are types of abuse which include physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, psychological, spiritual and financial. Neglect has also many types, such as physical, educational, medical and emotional neglect.

Physical abuse is when a person hits, slams, pulls hair, harms by the use of weaponry, murder, bites or burns etc., whereas physical neglect is failure or delay to provide healthcare, abandonment and expulsion. Neglect also includes leaving a child under inadequate supervision, nutrition, hygiene and clothing, and as well as in regards to safety and welfare.

Sexual abuse includes forced or unwanted sexual contact and harassment, and verbal abuse includes insult, blames and threats etc. Spiritually, a person is abused when he is deliberately prevented from following his beliefs and religious practices, and financial abuse means to steal, withhold money, or prevent access to employment and financial information around the household.

Psychological neglect is also different from psychological abuse, as neglecting a person means delaying or refusing to provide physiological care to a person, and allowing abusive behaviors. Emotional abuse is inadequate emotional as well as physical care, isolation, withholding care and love etc.

In a relationship, many people experience verbal abuse, suffer physical violence, blames, humiliations and threats. Many people are suffering from a lack of appropriate supervision, that can be in terms of medical or mental health treatment, educational or emotional needs. Abuse and neglect are both considered as emotional problems, and they need to be treated. A person who has a neglecting behavior can as well be abusive.


Abuse means mistreatment and an attempt to harm another person or thing.
Neglect means failure to prevent somebody or something from being harmed.
Abuse can be physical, psychological, verbal, sexual, financial or spiritual.
Neglect can be physical, psychological, medical or educational.
A person who has neglecting behavior can also be abusive at the same time.

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  1. What recourse do I have for emotional abuse?

  2. Child abuse and neglect are not the same thing. They are two different things leading to the same point. if you say that they are the same thing, then you are wrong. Do not give people the wrong information. If you do, they will grow up thinking the wrong thing and get in a lot of trouble for saying the wrong thing.

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