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Children's Rights

Forms Of Child Abuse

Child abuse is a major social problem; every child has the right to be free of physical and emotional harm. Child abuse is causing or failing to prevent actions against children that can result in serious physical or emotional harm, including sexual abuse and even death. This also includes neglect or placing a child at risk of serious harm, even if no injury results. Some forms of physical abuse include locking kids in closets, tying them to a bed, making them stand for long periods of time, or leaving them home alone. A child's right to freedom from abuse is balanced with the right of parents to discipline their children without government interference.

Child sexual abuse not only includes rape and improper touching, but also other actions such as a person exposing his or her private parts to a child or giving a child sexually explicit or pornographic material. Even if the child is not physically touched or harmed, these are still crimes of sexual abuse.

While sexual abuse is the least common form of child abuse, the most common is neglect. Neglect can lead to both physical and emotional harm. It is difficult to define neglect, because parents in poverty situations cannot provide as much care as those with higher incomes. Improper healthcare or not providing an education can also qualify as criminal neglect. Emotional abuse comes from exposure to domestic violence, drug use, dirty homes, and inadequate clothing.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawChildren's Rights - Protection Of Children, Childcare, Child Labor, Kidnapping And Abduction, Forms Of Child Abuse