Maltreatment is what happens when a person (or animal) is abused or deliberately harmed. If you are concerned with the maltreatment of animals, circuses probably disturb you.

In the old days, some schoolchildren experienced maltreatment at the hands of their teachers, and while it happens less often today, many of them still deal with the maltreatment of playground bullies. Maltreatment of animals has been documented at large factory farms, and laws have been passed to protect them. Maltreatment adds the mal- prefix, meaning "badly," to treatment, "conduct toward someone."

Definitions of maltreatment
  1. noun
    cruel or inhumane treatment
    synonyms: abuse, ill-treatment, ill-usage
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    child abuse
    the physical or emotional or sexual mistreatment of children
    child neglect
    failure of caretakers to provide adequate emotional and physical care for a child
    the act of persecuting (especially on the basis of race or religion)
    cruelty, inhuman treatment
    a cruel act; a deliberate infliction of pain and suffering
    the act of piercing with a sharpened stake as a form of punishment or torture
    oppression, subjugation
    the act of subjugating by cruelty
    organized persecution of an ethnic group (especially Jews)
    handing over prisoners to countries where torture is allowed
    torture, torturing
    the deliberate, systematic, or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons in an attempt to force another person to yield information or to make a confession or for any other reason
    atrocity, inhumanity
    an act of atrocious cruelty
    type of:
    the practice of treating (someone or something) badly
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