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ABUSE

abuse (<<schwa>>-byoos), n.1. A departure from legal or reasonable use; misuse. 2. Physical

or mental mal-treatment, often resulting in mental, emotional, sexual, or physical injury. — Also

termed cruel and abusive treatment. Cf. NEGLECT; CRUELTY.

abuse of the elderly.Abuse of a senior citizen by a caregiver. • Examples include deprivation

of food or medication, beatings, oral assaults, and isolation. — Also termed elder abuse. [Cases:

Assault and Battery    48. C.J.S. Assault and Battery §§ 2–3, 62, 64–66, 81.]

carnal abuse.See sexual abuse (1).

child  abuse.  1.  Intentional  or  neglectful  physical  or  emotional  harm  inflicted  on  a  child,

including sexual  mole-station; esp., a  parent’s or  caregiver’s act or  failure to act that results in a

child’s  exploitation,  serious  physical  or  emotional  injury,  sexual  abuse,  or  death.  2.  An  act  or

failure to act that presents an imminent risk of serious harm to a child. • Child abuse can be either

intentional or  negligent. The  first case of child abuse actually  prosecuted  occurred  in New York

City in 1874. An eight-year-old girl named Mary Ellen was found to have been severely abused.

Her  abusers  were  prosecuted  under  the  law  for  prevention  of  cruelty  to  animals,  since  no  law

protecting  children then existed. Child abuse was first recognized as a medical concern in 1962,

when  Dr.  C. Henry  Kempe  introduced  the  medical  concept  of  battered-child  syndrome.  —  Also

termed cruelty to a child; cruelty to children; child maltreatment. See abused child under CHILD;

battered  child  under  CHILD;  BATTERED-CHILD  SYN-DROME.  Cf.  secondary  abuse.  [Cases:

Infants    13–13.5(2), 15. C.J.S. Infants §§ 5, 92–98.]

domestic abuse.See domestic violence under VIOLENCE.

elder abuse.See abuse of the elderly.

emotional abuse.Physical or mental abuse that causes or could cause serious emotional injury.

secondary  abuse.Child  abuse  suffered  by  children  who,  although  they  are  not  physically

abused, witness domestic violence within their families.

sexual abuse. 1. An illegal sex act, esp. one performed against a minor by an adult. — Also

termed carnal abuse. 2.RAPE(2). [Cases: Assault and Battery    59; Infants    13. C.J.S. Assault and

Battery § 74; Infants §§ 5, 92–93, 95–98.]

spousal abuse.Physical, sexual,  or psychological abuse inflicted by one spouse  on the  other

spouse; esp., wife-beating. See BATTERED-WOMAN SYNDROME.

abuse (<<schwa>>-byooz), vb.1. To damage (a thing).2. To depart from  legal or reasonable

use in dealing with (a person or thing); to misuse. 3. To injure (a person) physically or mentally. 4.

In  the  context  of  child  welfare,  to  hurt  or  injure  (a  child)  by  maltreatment.  •  In  most  states,  a

finding of abuse is generally limited to maltreatment that causes or threatens to cause lasting harm

to the child. [Blacks Law 8th]