In November 2000, a San Jose man was riding in a female coworker’s car when he thought he heard a child moaning. According to Sergeant Steve Dixon of the San Jose Police Department, the man “looked in the back seat. There was no one there. He looked at her [his coworker]. She looked very nervous. She began talking very loudly. He heard the moaning several times. She turned up the radio, apparently to drown out the sounds.” The man later called the police, and the woman was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment after her two sons, ages five and seven, told authorities that their mother would sometimes lock them in the trunk of her Honda Civic when she went to work. In describing this incident, Dixon stated, “It’s almost unbelievable.”
The most shocking part about this story is that it is “almost” unbelievable. Indeed this act is not the worst case of child abuse out there. With so many different cases of child abuse being reported this story is quite believable.
Child abuse very simply put is the mistreatment of a child. The physical, emotional and or sexual mistreatment of a child. Child abuse in general is a psychological problem or perversion of the abuser. It is more than bruises or broken bones. While physical abuse is noticeable due to the scars it leaves, not all child abuse is as obvious. There are many different forms of child abuse to look out for.
Physical abuse in a child is the most noticeable. It is defined as excessive intentional physical injury to a child or excessive corporal punishment of a child. Corporal punishment by a parent is subject to interpretation. Generally speaking some forms of mild punishment which do not leave marks are considered within parental discretion. Punishment that cause marks that last more than a few minutes can be seen as abuse. Also using anything other than your hand to strike a child is considered abuse. Excessive physical discipline can also be.