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To hate "child abuse" used as a term for other things

(65 Posts)
brasty Tue 10-Oct-17 12:21:26

Couldn't think of a good title, but AIBU to be irritated at many on here using the phrase child abuse, for any action/words that are not nice, unfair or insensitive to children?

Actual child abuse is grim. Children being beaten, denied food, treated as if they are worthless constantly.

IneedaMagnum Tue 10-Oct-17 12:24:51


brasty Tue 10-Oct-17 12:26:34

It is on lots of threads, not sure I can give example as it is then TAAT. But an old one - swearing at a child. Unpleasant and unkind, but not child abuse.

AnneLovesGilbert Tue 10-Oct-17 12:26:42

Well domestic abuse between adults takes many forms, including financial, emotional, physical, sexual, gaslighting/mental abuse.

Or are you saying abuse can only be used to describe one person beating or staving another?

MrsJayy Tue 10-Oct-17 12:27:37

I am not sure what you mean ? Can you give examples

MrsJayy Tue 10-Oct-17 12:30:27

Being unpleasant and unkind constantly is abuse though constant negativity in a childs life is child abuse it doesn't have to be as extreme as beating and starving children.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 10-Oct-17 12:31:12

OP, child abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional or neglect.

Constantly swearing at a child could well be emotional abuse. Just because a child hasn't been locked in a cellar without food, or beaten bloody, doesn't mean they aren't experiencing abuse.

brasty Tue 10-Oct-17 12:31:48

Yes being horrible to a child constantly or near constantly is emotional abuse. Swearing at a child is not child abuse.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 10-Oct-17 12:32:24

Swearing at a child is child abuse hmm I think calling a child a ‘fucking little cunt’ in the street is abuse (seen this)

Unless you mean swearing in the vicinity?

FeralBeryl Tue 10-Oct-17 12:33:39

Swearing is rarely done in a friendly way.
Swearing at someone is generally very negative. If this is constant then I'm afraid yes, I would view it as emotional abuse.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 10-Oct-17 12:33:41

Do you swear at your child OP? It's really not a good thing to do, and it is abuse.

MrsJayy Tue 10-Oct-17 12:34:49

If telling a child to fuck the fuck off to thefar side of fuck isn't abusive then what is, the language used to/at children stays with them.

brasty Tue 10-Oct-17 12:35:12

No I do not swear at my child. This is not about me justifying my behavior.
This is about working with kids who are abused.

Gillian1980 Tue 10-Oct-17 12:35:55

Abuse is a broad description and can range from mild to extreme. It’s very important that mild levels of abuse aren’t minimised just because others have it worse.

FeralBeryl Tue 10-Oct-17 12:36:13

I actually think we've come a long long way from just viewing an NSPCC advert as the definition of abuse to be fair.
Abuse takes many, many forms.

DV is another. It was only real if it was a punch in the face, we are now educated enough to see the long term effects of financial, verbal, emotional abuse in a relationship.

What parameters would you set?

brasty Tue 10-Oct-17 12:38:19

I see a difference between shit parenting and actual child abuse. But maybe I am on my own here?

Willing to admit this may be because working with kids who have been abused, I hear so many dreadful stories every day.

Gillian1980 Tue 10-Oct-17 12:38:20

With all due respect, if you work with abused children then I would expect you to have had training that covers the wide range of things that are considered abusive.
You need to be aware of the impact that less obvious or milder forms of abuse have.

EdmundCleverClogs Tue 10-Oct-17 12:38:39

It is on lots of threads, not sure I can give example as it is then TAAT. But an old one - swearing at a child. Unpleasant and unkind, but not child abuse.

As someone who suffered emotional/mental childhood abuse (and less often, physical), I have to disagree to an extent. Saying to your child 'you're being an asshole today' as a rarity, no not abuse. Embellishing already horrible language with swearing can be abuse 'you're a fucking useless bitch' hits home harder than without the profanity. Scars fade, words stick - that's how I've found it.

My neighbour swears at her teenager every morning, it's very unpleasant to hear. It wears you down, especially being called a 'cunt' for not finding your jumper or whatever he's usually looking for.

MissFlashpants Tue 10-Oct-17 12:38:47

There's a thread on here now where a husband drew a sun on his baby girl's belly, and the hysteria that he is abusing her, pushing boundaries by treating her body as his possession, that he doesn't see her as a sentient human but as his plaything, that his wife should report him to SS herself and's fucking astounding.

brasty Tue 10-Oct-17 12:39:31

I am well aware of the impact that shit parenting has long term on children.

MrsJayy Tue 10-Oct-17 12:40:21

Today for example in the middle of a shop i heard of ffs move your fucking arse the kid was about 4. I as an adult wouldn't tolerate being spoken to so aggresivly so it really isn't ok for a 4 year old .

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 10-Oct-17 12:40:47

I see a difference between shit parenting and actual child abuse

How would you define the two? It must be a very blurry line.

brasty Tue 10-Oct-17 12:44:41

Shit parenting has a long term impact on children and is not okay.
Child abuse is when SS or other service providers will intervene.

MrsJayy Tue 10-Oct-17 12:45:47

I have also worked with children who have been abused and neglected but you can't be complaicent you can't brush off some things because it isn't extreme enough it is sometimes part of a bigger picture iyswim

brasty Tue 10-Oct-17 12:47:30

Yes I know it is sometimes part of a bigger picture. Situations need investigating. But in some areas, it takes a lot to get properly investigated.

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