What exactly constitutes “child abuse”? I’m sure the typical scenario played out in your head is a possible broken family, living in a messy squalid apartment, where the mom doesn’t feed the children or buy them new clothes and dad beats them with a belt and locks them in a closet. Of course, while situations like this do unfortunately occur, “child abuse” may also encompass broader, and sometimes less obvious or definite, circumstances.
In class this past week, we received a fact pattern about a working mother with three children, the oldest of whom is 12-years-old, whose one child goes to school without a lunch most days, with holes in his shoes, and wearing the same clothes for days in a row. As well, the oldest son would often be in charge of supervising his younger 3 siblings while his mother was away, and during one unsupervised moment, one of her children fell off the bed and broke his arm. Our prompt asked us to decide if this constitutes child abuse or not.… <Read More>