Child abuse is not just limited to physical violence aimed at a child under the age of 12. It is also any sort of psychological abuse by an adult, which usually is physically or psychologically abusive for the child. This includes emotional abuse. When child abuse takes place at home and often the perpetrator is, such as a parent or other care-giving adult, this is clearly a form of domestic abuse.
Physical child abuse can mean physical harm inflicted on a child by a parent, guardian, or caregiver. It may also mean that there has been neglectful and/or dangerous acting toward the child by the adult. Emotional child abuse may involve verbal and mental abuse inflicted on the child by the caretaker or parent. Psychological neglect means that the caretaker does not provide the necessary emotional support and care for the child and is literally unable to ensure the child’s well-being.
Many states have laws against child maltreatment and sexual assault. These are crimes with criminal penalties. Commonly associated with child maltreatment or sexual abuse are actions like spousal abuse, child sexual abuse, statutory rape, forcible rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment, enticing, or encouraging child sex tourism, child pornography, and /or juvenile delinquency. In the United States, there are also laws against sex trafficking, child sexual abuse, and child pornography, which are enforced on an individual level and in many instances require proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the defendant’s guilt.
While some people are suspected of being abusive, not all cases of child abuse are based on proof of physical or sexual abuse. For instance, most suspected cases of child abuse are often based on allegations of emotional abuse. While it may be difficult to prove that a person has been emotionally abused, it is much easier to prove that the accused has been charged with sexual abuse or child abuse based on psychological evidence.
Emotional abuse, even if it does not involve severe physical injury, can create a substantial emotional scarring on a child’s psyche. Such scars can last a lifetime and can lead to a dysfunctional sense of self-worth, self-image, and self-image. The emotional harm inflicted by child physical abuse can manifest itself in behavioral patterns and can lead to a teenage boy or girl being withdrawn from their friends and social circles, losing interest in participating in school activities, and developing an anger toward their parents, other family members, and even fellow schoolmates. In extreme cases, emotional abuse can lead to a teenager spending years in an adolescent facility or a youth facility, which means a teenage boy or girl will spend more time in one place (a facility) than they would have spent in several normal schools (schools).
Child physical abuse is different from emotional or sexual abuse in that there is a clear indication that physical harm was inflicted, but there is often a difference between the degree of force used and whether the victim has received any counseling or therapy as a result of the abuse. Child physical abuse can also occur during times when a child is simply ill and unable to make sound decisions. However, child neglect, on the other hand, involves actions that are deliberately intended to cause harm and to inflict emotional trauma. When a parent deliberately neglects a child by denying them medical treatment or denying their basic needs such as food and shelter, the child is being physically and psychologically abused.
The best way for anyone to determine whether their child has been or is being abused is to see the documentation that has been kept regarding the situation. There should be an original court document detailing the child’s relationship with the caregiver and the acts of which the caregiver is accused. Additionally, there should be a written account from a third party that details the events of the alleged abuse. An example of this documentation could include a police report, a 911 call, a police investigation file, a journal entry, or an account from a worker’s compensation agency. If a parent is able to prove that their child has been neglected, but that their parents did not act purposely, the parent who is legally responsible for the child will most likely be awarded custody of the child.
As mentioned above, physical abuse may be difficult to prove because there is usually no indication whatsoever of the abuse occurring. However, it is important to note that even if a parent believes their child is being abused, it is possible for them to be awarded sole custody due to neglect. If a parent wants to take full legal responsibility for their child, they must ensure that they do all they can to prevent physical abuse from occurring. This can be done by checking the background of a potential partner, making sure that they have a clean record of criminal records, seeking legal advice for any potential caregivers, educating themselves about their child’s legal rights, and knowing how to react if they believe their child is being neglected. By taking the necessary steps and doing all that is required under the law, a parent can work toward a resolution that will ensure their child receives care and love that they deserve.