From Victoria's DHS website:
Neglect is the failure to provide the child with the basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter, medical attention or supervision, to the extent that the child's health and development is, or is likely to be, significantly harmed.
I wouldn't classify this actual case as abuse (mainly because having worked with social services I've learned it is standard to only apply that term to ongoing issues), but would call it neglect.
However, another person may call it abuse, and wouldn't (again, technically) be wrong.
I am glad you were able to talk to your friend. I do agree that this is neglect, but from what I've read, it doesn't sound deliberate at all. She was obviously very shocked to realise the possible scenarios and most likely won't do it again. She's also not the first person to do this - i remember another thread on here in the last couple of years where another concerned friend mentioned the same issue with a friend leaving the baby home.
Well done on saying something Mezzo. It's a hard conversation to have but you may have saved her a lot of drama further down the track.
From a strictly legal sense, no it doesn't. Neglect has many different facets and levels; down the "lower" end of the scale (eg: momentary lapse in judgement with no harm done) you'd be hard pressed to argue that's "abuse", as opposed to much more serious, or ongoing, or deliberate actions and scenarios, where the child was actually harmed.
Splitting hairs. Any sane person knows she made a pretty big dumb **** decision. These things usually don't happen in isolation . It probably happened because there were other issues at play (depression etc) or because she's just a numpty who lacks good judgement.
Either way unless there is some type of professional support my guess is the one off neglect will not be a one off .....Putting it into the abuse category regardless of whether you subscribe to the hard or soft core definition.
Well done OP, you've been firm but friendly in the execution.
People are right to be shocked about this woman's senseless act of walking away and leaving her baby while she shopped, seemingly unfazed. I feel the same way and I'm so glad the OP took the time to talk to her about it. Yes it was neglectful and bad. Yes she should have known better. She was lucky nothing terrible happened while she was out. But lucky for her and her child, nothing happened. Hopefully she's learnt from the experience.
But abuse? That term brings up all sorts of horrific possibilities none of which apply here.
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