Child abuse occurs when a person who has a duty of care toward a child exposes them to a foreseeable risk of abuse.
1. Common Law
Common law has always recognized the duty of a parent toward small children.
A person has a duty of care toward a child when that person is:
a. The child’s parent or adoptive parent,
b. The child’s legal guardian,
c. One who has assumed responsibility for the child in the absence of its parent/legal guardian, or
d. One who has secluded a child from the care of its parent/legal guardian.
Refusal to provide for the needs of a child or to protect the child from an known abusive person.
2. Physical Abuse
Beatings, physically restraining or disciplining a child for reasons other than the child’s welfare.
3. Verbal Abuse
Verbally attacking a child for reasons other than concern for its welfare.
4. Sexual Abuse
Any forced sexual activity with a child or by children.