Physical abuse is the form of child abuse most frequently reported by the media and most familiar to the public. It is, also, the form most frequently fatal.
Children can and do sustain bumps and bruises, in the course of ordinary play. Physical abuse, however, is deliberate harm by a parent or caregiver.
An abuser may characterize physical abuse as punishment for a perceived infraction. But such punishment is out of all proportion to the infraction, and severe beyond a child’s capacity to understand or endure it. Continue reading