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Child abuse criminal acts

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Updated: 4/13/2007 6:35 pm
Abuse or maltreatment of a child includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and general, medical, and educational neglect. Serious cases of physical and sexual abuse come under the jurisdiction of state laws. Initial responses to allegations of neglect or abuse are generally handled by state or local child-protection agencies, which have the resources to investigate reports or complaints. If the agency finds that the abuse or neglect of the child constitutes a crime, the case is turned over to the public prosecutor. If a child is found to be the victim of abuse or neglect by a parent or guardian, it may turn the case over to a prosecutor, remove the child from threat by making him or her a ward of the court, or issue a protective order. If a protective order is issued and the offense is repeated, the penalties become more serious. The federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act provides the states with guidelines and minimum standards for child- protective services, police, and prosecutors in their efforts to combat child abuse, and also to protect the constitutional rights of an accused suspect. All states have strict laws designed to protect children from abuse and neglect by their parents or guardians, or by outsiders. In some states, the names and photographs of convicted sexual abusers or predators are posted for the general public.
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