What Constitutes Child Abuse?

Lawyers Guide

There is a fine line between discipline and child abuse, and it is important to understand when this line is crossed. In this guide, learn more about what constitutes child abuse, when neglect may constitute abuse, and when a criminal offense of child endangerment may be necessary.

  • ContentEmotional Abuse as Neglect and Social Services Investigations

    Fighting the judgment of the Family and Child Protective Service agents is often difficult, and the conflict increases if there exists a previous either deferred or dismissed case. Neglect and emotional abuse are some of the few possible outcomes the agency may determine is part of the issue at home when investigating the matter.

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  • ContentWhen Does Discipline Cross the Line to Child Abuse?

    Drawing the line between a parent's discipline of their child and child abuse will depend greatly on the state where the family lives. There are some state's rules which allow a parent greater latitude in disciplining their child while other states will require less severe discipline.

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  • ContentChild Neglect - When Is It a Crime?

    Neglect of a child is generally described as the failure of a parent or caregiver to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical care, or the failure to supervise a child to a degree that the child’s health, safety, and well-being are subject to harm and injury. Criminal neglect can result in the responsible adult being placed in jail or prison and the child being removed from the home.

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  • ContentDistinguishing Between Different Parenting Styles and Child Abuse

    It is important to know what the difference is between the various parenting styles that a family may employ versus what the state would consider child abuse in the same situation. These differences can let the parents use the styles for the future or result in criminal charges of child abuse because of the harm inflicted on the child.

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  • ContentGiving Alcohol to a Child - Can I Be Charged with Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor?

    When any adult provides alcohol to a minor that has not yet reached the age of majority in the state, he or she contributes to the delinquency of a minor even if this adult is a parent. While generally, this activity happens behind closed doors, it is possible that law enforcement could arrest the person for engaging in this activity.

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  • ContentChild Dies in a Hot Car - Is It An Accident or a Crime?

    The headlines appear every summer: Child dies after being left in a hot car. Whether or not this tragic event then leads to a criminal prosecution depends on many factors.

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  • ContentCrime of Child Endangerment

    Many states consider that when a child’s health, safety against dangers or overall well-being has been endangered, a criminal offense of child endangerment may have occurred. These crimes may come to convictions that often see parents, friends or others placed behind bars for many years.

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  • ContentConsequences, Penalties and Charges of Child Rape

    Accusations of rape charges involving children often cause negative consequences without any arrest having been made. These are serious crimes with potentially devastating consequences if conviction occurs.

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  • ContentCan You Legally Be Forced to Vaccinate Your Child?

    At the time of publication, there is no federal law requiring vaccinations of children. These laws are left to the state and the local governments. While many areas require vaccinations for children before they are allowed to enter daycare or school, there are exemptions that may apply.

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