Child Abuse: An Overview

Physical Abuse

Definition of Physical Abuse:

The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect defines child physical abuse as: “The physical injury or maltreatment of a child under the age of eighteen by a person who is responsible for the child’s welfare under circumstances which indicate that the child’s health or welfare is harmed or threatened thereby…”10

Examples of Physical Abuse include:

Beating with a belt, shoe, or other object; Biting a child; Breaking a child’s arm, leg, or other bones; Burning a child with matches or cigarettes; Hitting a child; Kicking a child; Not letting a child eat, drink, or use the bathroom; Pulling a child’s hair out; Punching a child; Scalding a child with water that is too hot; Shaking, shoving, or slapping a child.

The parent or caretaker need not have intended to hurt the child for it to constitute physical abuse. 2,6,18,23

Note: Every state has, in its child protection laws, a definition, often more specific than this general definition.20

Child Abuse: Just One Story
Child Abuse Introduction   |   Signs of Child Abuse
Child Abuse Statistics   |   It’s Under Reported
Effects of Child Abuse on Children: Abuse General
Effects of Child Abuse on Children: Child Sexual Abuse
Injuries to Children: Physical and Sexual Abuse
Effects of Child Abuse on Adults: Childhood Abuse
Effects of Child Abuse on Adults: Childhood Sexual Abuse
Definition of Physical Abuse   |   Signs of Physical Abuse
Definition of Sexual Abuse   |   Signs of Sexual Abuse
Definition of Child Neglect   |   Signs of Child Neglect
Definition of Emotional Abuse   |   Signs of Emotional Abuse
Abusers   |   Pedophiles
Child Physical Abuse and Corporal Punishment
Treatment for Child Abuse
Costs to Society
Conclusions
References
State Child Abuse Laws
Nationwide Crisis Line and Hotline Directory


Referring to this article:
“Child Abuse: An Overview” was written by C. J. Newton, MA, Learning Specialist and published in the Find Counseling.com (formerly TherapistFinder.net) Mental Health Journal in April, 2001.

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