What is the legal definition of child abuse in New Jersey?

There are a number of child abuse cases in New Jersey every year. Most of these cases of abuse are physical, and some include neglect and exploitation. However, the less physical the abuse, the less likely the case will be proven. Statistics show that 10% of children in the US experience child abuse at least one time in their lives. The majority of cases, however, involve exploitation of finances.

Some cases of child abuse, however, are not known to the parents, until it is too late. For example, a parent could leave a child with a sitter, but the sitter may not have the sufficient experience to handle the child. This can cause unnecessary injury and suffering to the child.

Although the abuse may be unintentional, it is still harmful to the child. There are signs of child abuse, and these symptoms should be warning signs for caregivers, friends, family and neighbors. These signs include:

Unexplained injuries and bruises

Large loss or gain in weight

Personality changes (e.g. withdrawn appearance)

Sudden change in the child’s behavior (fear, anger or isolation)

Lack of cleanliness

Sometimes parents and family members may not class a particular treatment as child abuse. It is also rare for people outside the immediate family or a caregiver to make a report as they may not want to get involved. However, it is important that people report these cases and help abused children receive the help they need.