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]