What is Child Abuse?
Child Abuse is a criminalact that is defined as an overarching mismanagement, mishandling, and action with regard to the treatment of a child or an individual legally-classified as a minor. Child Abuse can range in its classification; oftentimes, the abuse of a child will be indicative of two specific factors – the examination and legal restitution corollary to the nature of the crime committed, as well as the inclusion of a minor within the realm of the crime committed. Child Abuse may be punishable to the fullest extent of the law as a result of the legal consideration that the prospect of manipulation, exploitation, and vulnerability latent within minors – or children – will vastly-exceed that in a legal adult.
What is a Minor?
A minor, as defined by social constructs and a jurisdiction's legal framework, is a young person. Depending on the jurisdiction, a minor can be regarded as an individual under the age of 18, 17 or 16. Regardless of the specific age, a minor is a person who is legally prohibited from engaging in specific activities that are presumed to require a heightened sense of maturity. A minor is prohibited from participating in the following activities:
Consenting to sexual activity
Purchasing controlled substances
Authorizing a legal contract through signature
Partaking in the consumption of controlled substances
Validating participation in an activity or event that requires the presence of a legal guardian
Representing themselves in a court of law
Types of Child Abuse
Below are some examples of the most common forms of Child Abuse; depending on the crime, a Child Abuse conviction may exist in tandem with another criminal activity or unlawful act:
Child Endangerment: The endangerment of a child is a form of Child Abuse in which a legal adult compromises the welfare, safety, or wellbeing with regard to a child – or minor. This can take place in a variety of circumstances under which a presiding court mandates that the child – or children in question was participatory in an event that put their respective wellbeing at risk; this can range from the unlawful purchase of controlled substances for minors to the reckless operation of a motor vehicle carrying a child.
Child Molestation: This form of Child Abuse involves unlawful, and illicit touching of a minor. The majority of child molestation charges are sexual in nature. These crimes are attached with severe punishments.
Physical Child Abuse: This form of Child Abuse involves the unlawful striking, hitting, or illicit physical contact with regard to a child; the intent to harm a child is considered to be latent within the intent of the bulk of those convicted of committing physical child abuse.
Emotional or Psychological Child Abuse: This form of Child Abuse involves any form of verbal abuse with regard to a child – or minor; Verbal Child Abuse is considered to be highly-destructive to the health, wellbeing, and emotional stasis of a minor – this type of child abuse can range from insults to name-calling
Sexual Child Abuse:This form of child abuse involves the engagement of sexual acts with a child. Because of the child's minor status, the youth is legally-prohibited from consenting to a sexual act. Sexual child abuse–which in essence is rape of a minor–is considered to be predatory in nature. There are several forms of sexual Child Abuse, including: statutory rape to the possession of child pornography.