Do You Remember the Mother Who Used Hot Sauce to Discipline Her Child on Dr. Phil? She's Been Convicted of Child Abuse!
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If suspect child abuse each state has different reporting agencies. The International Nanny Association has listed those agencies by state as well as the phone number. If your state is not listed, or if you are calling from a different state other than the child resides, call Childhelp, 800-4-A-Child (800-422-4453).
Here are the general definitions of child abuse by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
Physical abuse is physical injury as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting (with a hand, stick, strap, or other object), burning, or otherwise harming a child, that is inflicted by a parent, caregiver, or other person who has responsibility for the child. Such injury is considered abuse regardless of whether the caregiver intended to hurt the child. Physical discipline, such as spanking or paddling, is not considered abuse as long as it is reasonable and causes no bodily injury to the child.
Neglect is the failure of a parent, guardian, or other caregiver to provide for a child's basic needs. Neglect may be:
Physical (e.g., failure to provide necessary food or shelter, or lack of appropriate supervision)
Medical (e.g., failure to provide necessary medical or mental health treatment)3
Educational (e.g., failure to educate a child or attend to special education needs)
Emotional (e.g., inattention to a child's emotional needs, failure to provide psychological care, or permitting the child to use alcohol or other drugs)
Sexual abuse includes activities by a parent or caregiver such as fondling a child's genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials.
Emotional abuse (or psychological abuse) is a pattern of behavior that impairs a child's emotional development or sense of self-worth. This may include constant criticism, threats, or rejection, as well as withholding love, support, or guidance. Emotional abuse is often difficult to prove and, therefore, child protective services may not be able to intervene without evidence of harm or mental injury to the child. Emotional abuse is almost always present when other forms are identified.
Abandonment is now defined in many States as a form of neglect. In general, a child is considered to be abandoned when the parent's identity or whereabouts are unknown, the child has been left alone in circumstances where the child suffers serious harm, or the parent has failed to maintain contact with the child or provide reasonable support for a specified period of time.