Child Abuse Laws in Mississippi: These are Child Abuse Laws for the State of Mississippi
Findings of a recent survey have proven that more than 3 million cases of child abuses are reported every year in the U.S.A. child abuse can be in the form of physical, mental, emotional or sexual. In the U.S.A., every state has its laws to protect children from child abuse. Child abuse can be described as when a parent or a caregiver causes injury, emotional harm or even death to a child. Child abuse can be in different forms which include child neglect, maltreatment, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse.
Child abuse is held as a serious threat in the state of Mississippi. In Mississippi, child abuse is defined as an intentional mental or physical injury by parents or caregivers which may include neglect, deprivation, sexual abuse, harmful disciplinary techniques, abandonment, or using children for sex.
Mandated reporting on Child Abuse in Mississippi
A mandated reporter is a person who has frequent access to children whose duty is to report credible cases of child abuse to the state. Every state has assigned mandated reporters who generally include teachers, social workers, police and medical professionals who are required to report cases of child abuse. Mississippi too has its assigned share of mandated reporters who are assigned their duty and failure of fulfilling their duty is charged as a misdemeanor. Failure to report may cause a fine of $5000 or imprisonment of 1 year.
Child Abuse Laws in Mississippi
There are laws for different forms of child abuse in Mississippi. They are as follows:
Neglect- taken as the most common form of child maltreatment, neglect occurs when the parent or caregiver:
- Fails to provide food, clothing, and shelter
- Fails to provide adequate education, medical or mental health
- Fails to protect the child from harm or a situation that might endanger the child
- Fails to initiate education as required by the state law
- Cause emotional harm to a child
- Fails to determine continual physical or sexual abuse of the child
Felony child abuse
Felony child abuse happens when a parent or caregiver intentionally burns, tortures physically, poisons, starves, strangles or chokes or uses a lethal weapon on a child whether the child is physically harmed or not. Other bodily harm that can be classified under felony child abuse includes actions such as scarring, breaking bones, internal bleeding, brain damage or causing eye or ear injuries. Actions such as striking the head or face or whipping also fall under this category. In addition to all the above-mentioned actions, felony child abuse also includes bodily harm such as bruising, internal organ bleeding or swelling by intentionally:
- Biting, kicking or throwing the child
- Striking with a closed fist on the face of a child under 14
- Striking a child aged under five on the face or head
- Kicking, cutting or striking a child’s genitals
If a person who lives with the child knowingly condones an incident of felonious child abuse, then that incident would also be considered as a crime.
Besides condoning a case of felony child abuse, child endangerment which can occur by selling or taking drugs in the presence of a child is also deemed as illegal by the law in Mississippi.
Penalties for Child Abuse in Mississippi
Felony child abuse- in case of torturing and serious bodily injury the convict can be punished for a minimum of 2 to 10 years in prison. Sometimes, convicts are sentenced to life imprisonment as well.
Condoning child abuse- it is deemed a misdemeanor and penalties include up to 1 year of imprisonment with $1000 as fine.
Child endangerment- this is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and $10,000 fine. If the child is substantially harmed in terms of physical, mental or emotional health, imprisonment can be increased to 20 years with a $20,000 fine.