The crime of child abuse is any cruelty inflicted on a child, such as neglect, mental abuse, physical harm, sexual abuse or exploitation of a minor child. Child caregivers and people in professions deal with children are required to report suspected child abuse. A defendant may be charged with child abuse in connection with other crimes such as assault and battery.
If you are facing child abuse charges, connect with a criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. Simply fill out the free online evaluation form on this page or call 877-445-1059 to arrange your no-obligation consultation.
Child Abuse Statistics
Approximately 800,000 children are abused each year in the United States, according to recent statistics by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:
- 59% suffered from neglect
- 10.8% were physically abused
- 7.6% were sexually abused
- 4.2% were emotionally or psychologically abused
- 13.1% experience some “other” type of maltreatment, including abandonment, threats, and congenital drug addiction
According to the same HHS study, most children experience abuse inside the home:
- 79.9% of abusers are parents, including birth, adoptive or step-parents
- 6.6% were a relative other than parent
- 4.5% were unmarried partner of parent
- 0.5% were child daycare providers
Child Abuse Laws
Generally, child abuse is legally defined as any action or inaction that results in the serious physical or emotional harm of a child, including death, sexual abuse or exploitation.
Since 1970, every state has required certain professionals, such as teachers and doctors, to report suspected child abuse to Child Protective Services. If a claim is considered valid, the first step is often to remove the children from the home and place them in foster care.
This means that your children may be taken away from you even before you are charged with any wrongdoing.
Discuss Child Abuse Charges with a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are suspected of or have been accused of child abuse, schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your case with a criminal lawyer. Learn more about the criminal justice system and your rights with the help of an attorney. Total Criminal Defense can help you find a local criminal lawyer. Call at 877-445-1059 or fill out a free criminal case evaluation form to connect with a lawyer near you.
The above summary of child abuse is by no means all-inclusive and is not legal advice. Laws may have changed since our last update. For the latest information on child abuse laws and penalties, speak to a criminal defense attorney in your area.