Child abuse was the systematic mistreatment of a child by their parents or other adults. Abusers often developed a strong influence over their victims, so much so that some abused children displayed a wish to return to their abusers, known as Stockholm syndrome. (TNG: "Suddenly Human")

In 2367, Doctor Beverly Crusher initially suspected child abuse after examining Jono and finding evidence of prior serious injuries ("two previously fractured ribs, a broken arm, and a low-grade concussion", as well as possible "neurological impairment") suffered while in the custody of the Talarian Endar. However, when Jean-Luc Picard addressed this, Endar explained that the boy's old wounds were as a result of accidents and warrior training. (TNG: "Suddenly Human")

In 2370, while attempting to discern the reason for Miles O'Brien's criminal behavior against the Cardassians, Kovat asked if he was abused by his parents. O'Brien replied in the negative. (DS9: "Tribunal")

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