Child abuse is considered a very serious crime in the United States. It may come in different forms, and each one is highly punishable by law. This crime carries so much gravity because the results can be extremely damaging to the abused child, rendering him or her with physical or emotional scars that will last a lifetime.
The Different Forms of Child Abuse
As mentioned, there are several different forms of child abuse. Typically, people group them into four separate categories.
- Physical Abuse: Intentionally striking or touching a child in a physically harmful manner, more so than a simple spanking.
- Emotional Abuse: Directing verbally abusive dialogue toward a child, such as blatant belittlement. Negative feedback through actions can be considered emotionally abusive as well. For example, failure to deliver food to a child due to something he or she has said or done may be considered emotional abuse.
- Sexual Abuse: Touching a child in a sexually explicit manner, forcing the child to engage in sexual behavior with or without another person, or forcing the child to watch sexually explicit acts all can be considered sexual abuse.
- Neglect: This is the most common form of child abuse, and it includes such acts as failure to provide the child with basic needs like food, water, shelter, health care, or love.