Child abuse is the physical or sexual abuse, emotional maltreatment or neglect of an unmarried person under 18 years old. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), (42 U.S.C.A. §5106g), as amended and reauthorized by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010, defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum:
"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."
If you believe or suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, call your local Child Protective Services or law enforcement. The Family Advocacy Program (FAP) staff at your local Fleet and Family Support Center can assist you as well.