The Need for a Clear definition and Enforcement of Child Abuse Laws

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 18th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Mental Health

Child abuse is one of the most hideous of crimes, it extends to all walks of society. Children are vulnerable in the home and in the society as well. There could never be too many articles written about child abuse.


April is child abuse month however, any time is a good time for Montrealers to review what we know and don't know about this horrible crime. However one would be surprised to know that most known cases of child abuse are not reported.

We need a clear definition of child abuse

The last article gave some reasons why child abuse goes on reported. This section will explore the need for laws and guidelines.

Americans, Canadians and Montrealers alike need a clear definition of child abuse?

There are many definitions of child abuse and there are definitions at the state and federal level:

Basically child abuse is anything that will in someway cause a child physical or mental harm. There are four separate categories for child abuse:

Physical abuse - hitting, choking, shaking, striking, burning, pinching anything to cause aggression or pain

Mental abuse - shaming and belittling the child and calling the child names etc.

Sexual abuse - intercourse, exposure of the genitals of child or adult, fondling, pornography, exposure to adult sexual activity, and violation of privacy

Neglect - failure to provide for a child's needs, such as food, clothing, hygiene, failure to provide a nurturing environment, and failure to provide an education

American and Canadian definitions for child abuse

What is the legal definition of parental child abuse in the USA?

The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) (42 U.S.C.A. §5106g), as amended by the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003, defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum:

.Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or

· An act or failure to act, which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.

The Canadian government defines child abuse as:

“Child abuse and neglect include acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that result in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child. There are four major categories of child abuse: physical abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect and emotional maltreatment.

to be continued

Previous link
Child Abuse Still Goes Unreported

All photos taken from the public domain

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Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Retired
19th May 2015 (#)

Wow, this is so sad. Great share.

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author avatar Retired
20th May 2015 (#)

Child abuse is indeed a heinous crime. It's high time the authorities should frame stricter laws to deal with this inhumane menace.
Well-written post. Thanks for sharing.

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