Child Abuse and Domestic Violence 2 different beast
Physical, sexual, or emotional mistreatment or neglect of a child.
Child Abuse has been defined as an act, or failure to act, on the part of a parent or caretaker that results in the death, serious physical or emotional harm, Sexual Abuse, or exploitation of a child, or which places the child in an imminent risk of serious harm (42 U.S.C.A. § 5106g). Child-abuse laws raise difficult legal and political issues, pitting the right of children to be free from harm, on the one hand, against the right of families to privacy and the rights of parents to raise and discipline their children without government interference, on the other.
The mistreatment of children at the hands of parents or caretakers has a long history. For centuries, this behavior was shielded by a system of laws that gave children few, if any, rights. Under English Common Law, children were treated as property owned by the parents. Parents, particularly fathers, had great latitude over the treatment and discipline of children. This outlook was carried to the American colonies and incorporated into early laws in the United States.
One of the first cases to bring national attention to child abuse arose in the early 1870s. An eight-year-old New York orphan named Mary Ellen Wilson complained of being whipped and beaten nearly every day by her foster family. Her case captured the attention of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). An attorney for the ASPCA took Wilson’s case, arguing that as members of the animal kingdom, children are entitled to the same legal protections from cruelty as are animals. A judge heard evidence that Wilson’s foster family, the Connolly’s, routinely beat her, locked her in a bedroom, and made her sleep on the floor. Charged with Assault and Battery, Wilson’s foster-mother was convicted and sentenced to one year of hard labor. Even more significantly, publicity surrounding Wilson’s case led to the establishment, in 1874, of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The following year, the New York Legislature passed a statute that authorized such societies to file complaints of child abuse with law enforcement agencies.
Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, and intimate partner violence (IPV), is a pattern of behavior which involves the abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship such as marriage, cohabitation, dating or within the family. Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, battery), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation.
Alcohol consumption and mental illness can be co-morbid with abuse, and present additional challenges in eliminating domestic violence. Awareness, perception, definition and documentation of domestic violence differs widely from country to country, and from era to era.
Domestic violence and abuse is not limited to obvious physical violence. Domestic violence can also mean endangerment, criminal coercion, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, trespassing, harassment, and stalking.
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