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Every 10 seconds, somebody reports a case of child abuse. In the United States, over 3.6 million referrals are submitted to child protection agencies annually. Since a single referral can include multiple children, that number actually balloons to more than 6.6 million individual children when calculating the total number of affected children. Despite being a global leader among industrialized nations, our country has one of the most pressing child abuse problems in the world.
As you can see, child abuse is relatively common, and the broad definition of what constitutes this crime means that many adults are unaware of whether their actions qualify. Many adults simply do not understand where strict discipline ends and child abuse starts. Child abuse comes in many forms including physical, sexual, emotional, and neglect.
If you have been charged with one of these four types of child abuse, you may require the help of a child abuse defense lawyer in Tampa to present valid defenses on your behalf such as parental privilege, false reporting, accidental injury, or lack of evidence.
The statistics on child abuse can be shocking. Every day, between four and seven children die as a result of child abuse. Physical abuse is arguably the most immediate threat to children as injuries resulting from physical abuse can result in head trauma, internal bleeding, and even death. To qualify as physical abuse, it must be proven that the adult intentionally caused harm to the child. Examples of physical abuse include hitting, kicking, burning, choking, pushing, whipping, and any other action that causes physical harm to a child.
Sexual abuse is another form of child abuse that occurs when an adult commits lewd, lascivious, or sexual acts on a child. There are many forms of sexual abuse including non-contact abuse, forcing a child to witness or partake in a sexual act, coercing a child into displaying or viewing a sex organ, inappropriate sexual dialogues, child prostitution, and more. According to Childhelp, an organization dedicated to fighting back against child abuse, 20.7 percent of surveyed adults have reported being sexually abused during childhood.
One of the more difficult types of child abuse to identify is emotional abuse. Parents, guardians, or caregivers who impair the mental and social development of a child can be charged with emotional abuse. Typically, emotional abuse is a repeat behavior that displays a clear pattern over time such as continuously ignoring, shaming, scaring, isolating, or corrupting a child. Since only 10.6 percent of surveyed adults report that they were abused emotionally during childhood, it appears that children and adults alike are often uncertain about what constitutes emotional abuse.
When a parent, guardian, or caregiver fails to provide adequate supervision, affection, or support to ensure that a child is healthy and safe, they are committing a form of child abuse known as child neglect. Some of the most common types of child neglect include physical, emotional, medical, and educational neglect.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.