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InformationForYou, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1956
Experience:  18 years as a family law attorney, adjunct law professor
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Is "spanking" with a belt child abuse?

Customer Question

Is "spanking" with a belt child abuse?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  InformationForYou replied 5 years ago.

InformationForYou :

It depends - did it leave marks? Was it hard? For example, hitting with a spoon usually would be considered abusive but only if it was done hard...hitting with a spoon could be a light tap in which case it most likely wouldn't be abusive.

JACUSTOMER-gpanpiqt- :

I'm not talking about a spoon! How do you hit lightly with a belt?

InformationForYou :

If a parent is striking with a belt lightly - to make a point to the child (shame, for example) then child protective services may not find it abusive. Since you asked a 'yes' or 'no' question, I wanted to clarify that it wasn't that cut and dried in all cases. If it wasn't lightly - as I assume from your answer - and as it likely would not be - and left marks (bruising, welts, etc.) then it is highly likely that it would be found to be abusive.

InformationForYou :

If that is what would be favorable...i.e. you are not the striking party - then you may wish to contact the child's pediatrician. (They are mandatory abuse reporters so if they see the marks/welts they would have to report it. Reports are anonymous.)

InformationForYou :

Good luck.