Child abuse is considered to be a very grave crime anywhere in the United States. Anytime someone commits an act of maltreatment toward a child, whether it is physical, emotional, or sexual, it is considered to be an act of child abuse and the perpetrator is subject to severe punishment by law. Penalties include large fines, incarceration for an extended period of time, or both.
What Constitutes Child Abuse?
Child abuse is typically divided into four separate categories, under which all negative acts directed toward a child may be filed. These four are the following:
- Physical Abuse: Touching the child in a violent manner meant to cause harm. Common forms of this type of abuse include hitting, shaking, or throwing items at the child.
- Sexual Abuse: Exposing the child to sexual acts; includes contact sexual abuse and non-contact abuse. Contact sexual abuse involves actions such as touching the child in a sexual manner or forcing him or her to engage in sexual acts. Non-contact sexual abuse includes incidents in which the child is forced to watch or listen to sexual acts being performed.
- Emotional Abuse: Directing negative words or actions toward the child in such a way that it harms his or her emotional development. Examples include calling the child names or refusing to feed the child if he or she has done something wrong.
- Neglect: Failure to provide the child with basic needs for healthy survival and development. This includes food, water, shelter, healthcare, education, clothing, or love and attention.
In 2002, 860,000 reported incidents of the above forms of child abuse were confirmed to be true. A large majority of the victims suffered from neglect.
If you have been charged with child abuse, you will need a strong attorney to protect you. Please do not hesitate to contact the Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer of Hart Powell, S.C. at (414) 271-9595 to schedule an appointment.