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Is Corporal Punishment in Nevada Child Abuse?


Ever wonder if corporal punishment counts as child abuse in Nevada?

Parents have the natural right to discipline their children. However, sometimes, the disciplinary actions often go overboard and turn into severe punishments and, eventually, child abuse in Nevada.

Corporal punishment in Nevada is one form of child disciplinary tactics that involves physical pain. Children who are given this will be spanked or hit using certain objects meant to hurt them. In Nevada, this type of punishment is illegal in schools but can be carried out in homes as long as it is not excessive.

However, this still begs the questions such as “Is corporal punishment child abuse?”, “Is it legal to hit your child?”, and “Is it hitting them a precursor to child abuse?”. In this post, we answer these inquiries as we delve deeper on what blurs the line between punishment and abuse.

Definition of corporal punishment in Nevada

According to Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) NRS 433.546, corporal punishment in Nevada is the “intentional infliction of physical pain, including, without limitation, hitting, pinching or striking.”

Corporal punishment is outlawed in schools in Nevada but is acceptable in homes. It is stated in NRS 392.4633 that no corporal punishment shall be imposed in a pupil in any school. Know that this only applies when the student is physically restrained. It is no longer classified as corporal punishment if physical force or infliction of pain was used to obtain a deadly weapon from a student, stop a student from harming another person, or for self-defense.

Distinction between corporal punishment and child abuse in Nevada

As we have established, parents can discipline their children and can even use spanking and hitting as long as they are not frequently inflicted or so strong that it leads to injury of the child. As its name, child abuse is the abuse of causing mental and physical pain. This is unpredictable and can be perpetrated by parents even when the child did not do any mistake.

Corporal punishment, on the other hand, is something you can call as justified because it disciplines a child. Unlike child abuse, they are not done habitually and only performed when a child needs to learn from a mistake. It also is light in beating and should not leave physical and emotional marks.

Despite the evident differences, there are still many parents that do not know the difference of corporal punishment and child abuse in Nevada or not just aware that they have been causing too much physical and mental distress to their children because of their own ego or they have mental issues themselves. In 2017, 27 children died due to child abuse and other related domestic violence incidents in Las Vegas and surrounding areas, showing that child abuse is still rampant in Nevada and they can even increase as parents can mistake their abuse as an act of reasonable punishment.

Defenses against child abuse accusations in Nevada

Imagine the scenario: you, a parent, implementing rational corporal punishment in Nevada on your son and suddenly you have police officers at your doorstep, arresting you for domestic violence as reported by your misinformed family members and neighbors.

This is a scary thing, especially if child abuse is never your intention. But remember that you can defend yourself and some of the defenses and arguments that you can raise in court to challenge the legitimacy of the charges are the following:

It is only corporal punishment

With the help of certain shreds of evidence, you can show that what you did was only the accepted form of corporal punishment in Nevada and that there are no evident bruises or injuries seen in the body of the child and that the mental state is healthy as well.

It was an accident

Children’s rowdiness can lead to accidents of their own making. You can argue that a child’s broken arm was caused by a fall you did not cause.

It was self-defense

There are cases when children retaliate when you are trying to discipline them. It is only right to defend yourself, especially if the child intends to harm you or other people around seriously.

Corporal punishment in Nevada still exists and is in a steady swing. However, due to the changing social norms, acceptance for such manner are also slowly deteriorating. As a parent, you must think twice about corporal punishments as the spur of the moment could lead to things you do not want such as child abuse.

With this matter, if you are a parent who is accused by someone of child abuse but you are only merely disciplining your child through corporal punishments in Nevada, better defend yourself with the aid of a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney who knows all about the difference between corporal punishment and child abuse.

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