Physical abuse, child neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. Federal CAPTA legislation (P.L. 104-235) provides definitions that identify a minimum set of acts or behaviors that characterize maltreatment. Each State is responsible for providing its own definitions of child abuse and neglect within the State's civil and criminal context.

Child Abuse And Neglect, according to the Federal legislation, is at a minimum:

  • Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation
  • An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm
  • Child abuse and neglect typically includes physical as well as emotional abuse (which causes psychological or mental injury), in addition to various types of neglect.

Sexual Abuse is defined in the Federal definition as:

  • The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or simulation on such conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct
  • The rape, and in cases of caretaker or inter-familial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children.

Source: Children Welfare Information Gateway