Federal and state laws define child abuse and neglect. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) provide minimum standards that states must incorporated into their statutory definitions of child abuse and neglect.
CAPTA definition of child abuse and neglect refers to:
"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 any act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm."
Organizations that offer child care services have an obligation to follow these rules when a child is in their care.
You may be asking yourself, what are the forms of child abuse? There are many forms of child abuse. Physical abuse is the most prevalent. However, people are becoming more aware of other types of abuse such as, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, and mental abuse.
1. Physical Abuse
Although physical abuse is the most visible form of child abuse, it can also be very hard to detect due to the normal cuts and bruises children get. However, there are a few signs to look out for such as:
- Unexplained bruises and broken bones
- Head injuries
- Scratches and Lacerations
2. Verbal and Mental Abuse
Verbal and Mental abuse can be one of the most difficult form of and child abuse to diagnose. Since the scars aren’t visible, many children who are verbally abused carry it with them for many years and never seek any professional help. There are many types of verbal and mental abuse. Just to name a few:
3. Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse can happen in several different ways. Penetration is not necessary for it to be labeled at sexual abuse. Nor does the abuse have to happen by an adult. It can be when an older child abuses a younger child, which believe it or not, does happen. There are many other forms of sexual abuse including but not limited to:
- Sodomy and Oral Sex
- Showing inappropriate photos/ videos to children
- Taking nude photos of children
- Inappropriate touching of a child on another child- with or without direction from an adult
- Inappropriately requiring a child to touch an adult in private areas
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