Cruelty to children is classified into three levels. When a parent, guardian, or other person overseeing a kid under the age of 18 knowingly deprives the child of required nutrition to the point that the child's well-being is compromised, this is considered first-degree cruelty to children. If a parent, guardian, or other person who has authority over a child ages 12 to 17 willfully causes serious bodily injury to the child or places the child in danger of such harm, this is also first-degree cruelty to children. Finally, if a parent, guardian, or other person who has authority over a child ages 6 to 11 causes serious bodily injury to the child or subjects the child to torture, either by burning, beating, or starving him/her, this is second-degree cruelty to children.
In addition to these three degrees of cruelty, any act intended to cause a child emotional or physical pain is considered abuse. The line between discipline and abuse is not always clear-cut. For example, slapping a child on the hand with an open palm once for calling someone else by name would be considered abuse while hitting a child on the hand with a closed fist would be considered discipline. However, repeatedly hitting a child on the hand with an object such as a belt would be considered abuse even if the intent was discipline.
The important thing is that you do not use violence against your child.
When a parent, guardian, or other person monitoring the welfare of a child under the age of 18 wilfully deprives the kid of required nourishment to the extent that the child's health or well-being is compromised, such person commits the offense of cruelty to children in the first degree.
In addition to being unable to provide the child with necessary food, water, or medical care, the parent, guardian, or person responsible for the child's welfare may also intentionally: injure or physically abuse the child either by hitting him/her with an object or by inflicting physical pain; expose the child to violence or threatening behavior; engage in sexual activity against the child's will; or use drugs or alcohol in a manner likely to impair mental or physical capacity. The only thing that matters is whether or not the child was deprived of necessary food, water, or medical care. If so, then the parent has committed cruelty to children in the first degree.
There are two forms of this crime: intentional and reckless. To prove intentional cruelty to children, the state must show that you knew what you were doing was wrong and still did it anyway. To prove reckless cruelty to children, the state needs to show only that you acted recklessly - that you didn't care what happened to the child as long as she wasn't hurt too badly.
(a) Cruelty to children in the first degree is committed by a parent, guardian, or other person supervising the welfare of or having immediate charge or custody of a child under the age of 18 when such person willfully deprives the child of necessary sustenance to the extent that the child's health or well-being deteriorates. The term also includes any person who abuses a child under the age of 18 by severely beating him or her.
All forms of cruelty to children are serious matters and should be reported to a law enforcement agency immediately. However, not all acts of cruelty are criminal offenses. For example, if a child refuses to eat because he or she is grieving the loss of a loved one, then this would be considered medical neglect rather than cruelty to children. Medical professionals may be able to advise parents on how to help their children through difficult circumstances.
In addition, some actions by parents or guardians may result in civil charges rather than criminal proceedings. For example, if a parent or guardian fails to provide the necessities of life for a young child (e.g., food, shelter, safety), then this could give rise to a protective proceeding before a juvenile court. Alternatively, if the conduct of the parent or guardian causes physical or emotional harm to the child (i.e., abuse), then this would be subject to criminal prosecution.
Parents have a fundamental right to raise their children as they see fit.