The Child Abuse Prevention And Treatment Act

992 Words Oct 20th, 2015 4 Pages
It is important to examine where the laws come from and why they are in place. Generally, the laws are defined as a parent or guardian’s inability to protect his/her children from witnessing domestic violence or being abused by another person (Goodmark, 2004). When a child is exposed to domestic violence that can be considered a form of child neglect, even if the child is not harmed. This includes seeing, hearing, or simply witnessing the aftereffects of violence, such as an injured victim (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2012). While this is a large part of the laws, they are mainly in place to protect children from experiencing firsthand abuse. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was enacted in 1974 and designed to give a clear definition of child abuse, which failure to protect laws use as a basis to determine if a woman should be charged with abuse or neglect. CAPTA defines abuse as “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” (“The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act,” 2003). Failure to protect laws use the aspect of CAPTA that considers “failure to act” a part of child abuse. Because women fail to act in protecting their children or stopping the abuser, they can be charged. The laws were never designed and put in place to specifically incriminate…
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