Technical Materials

Discussion Paper: Review of Existing Definitions and Explanations of Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation and Violence against Children

The Alliance

Academics, scholars, and practitioners have a tendency to use one term – typically “abuse” or “violence” – as the umbrella term for a full range of types of child maltreatment including neglect; exploitation; and physical, sexual, and psychological violence and abuse. This creates challenges for the identification of cases, the measurement of incidence rates, and the determination of appropriate protective mechanisms. 

This report examines the main elements of child abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence (nature of the act; perpetrator relationship to the child; motivation or intent; and outcomes) in ways that recognise the overlap and highlight the distinctions between each type of maltreatment. 

This report can also be found in 12 postcard-sized slides with chapter-level summaries here.

Publication type
Guidance and technical materials