Identifying Child Abuse and Neglect: Is It Abuse or Is It Neglect?

A physical assault by a parent can be either abuse or neglect, depending on the degree of harm or threatened harm sustained by the child. The decision to report a severe beating as abuse (battering) or as neglect (excessive corporal punishment) will depend to a large extent on your knowledge or perception of the caregiver's motives and behavior and on the circumstances surrounding them. But you do not have to make the initial classification. That is done by the person who is responsible for taking your call at the State Central Register (SCR). What is important is that you make a report when you suspect abuse or neglect.