WHAT IS ABUSE?

A pattern of coercive behavior, including acts or threatened acts, that are used by a perpetrator to gain power and control over a current or former spouse, family member, intimate partner, or person with whom the perpetrator shares a child in common that occur within a residence or within the vicinity of the residence. Home violence includes, but is not limited to, physical violence, injury, or intimidation, sexual violence or abuse, emotional and/or psychological intimidation, verbal abuse, threats, or harassment, cyber/internet sexual violence, stalking, or sex trafficking.  Examples are Violent and Disrespectful Words -Beatings-Rape(Sex without Consent)-Punching-Grabbing-Hitting-Pushing-Kicking-Stomping-Shoving-Biting-Slapping-Threats-Spitting-Cutting-Choking-Pulling Hair-Shooting-Stabbing-Burning-Denial/Withholding of Money-Throwing Objects that Hit a Person or In the Direction of the person.

WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE?
 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, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.  Child abuse is broadly defined in many states as any type of cruelty inflicted upon a child, including mental abuse, physical harm, neglect, and sexual abuse or exploitation. The specific crimes charged in instances of child abuse can include assault and battery.  A child who has been abused or neglected may experience a range of problems, such as relationship difficulties, lack of trust of adults, emotional outbursts (or retreat), low performance at school, depression, anxiety, and anger. State child abuse laws define child abuse as any act (or failure to act) that: Results in imminent risk or serious harm to a child's health and welfare due to physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; affects a child (typically under the age of 18); by a parent or caregiver who is responsible for the child's welfare.  This includes intentional acts, actions that were careless (such as, allowing a known sexual offender or known abuser to be with a child alone), and acts of negligence (such as, leaving a child under a certain age at home alone). Also, the "harm" inflicted upon a child need not be actual, but may include "threats" or "risks of imminent harm". In addition to state child abuse laws, all states have Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies that investigate reports of abuse and neglect of children in a home.

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