Child abuse has an equivocal meaning but can be explained as physical, sexual, or psychological mistreatment from relatives, parents, guardians or someone who had the victim’s trust.
It includes a situation where a parent or caregiver fails to protect their wards –deliberately or otherwise, especially if it results in actual or potential harm to the child.
Child abuse can occur at a child’s home, in schools, markets, organizations and even in the villages. It has also been interchanged with child mistreatment, which researchers believe, excludes trafficking, violence and exploitation.
A few teachers in the United States of America have either been indicted, relieved of their duties or charged to court, and jailed for having sexual relationships with their underage students.
Sex with teenagers is not only considered as child abuse but also seen as rape, by other means.
America’s law on child abuse, its legal interpretations and prosecution are “often vague and overly broad,” according to Douglas J. Besharov, the first Director of the U.S. Center on Child Abuse and Neglect.
Alaina Ferguson, 23, was arrested and charged with sexual assault on Nov. 30, 2016. A 16-year-old boy allegedly told police he had a relationship with the Texas teacher that was sparked by a note he left on an Algebra test, in which he wrote his Snapchat user name.
Texas middle school English teacher Alexandria Vera, 24, turned herself in to authorities June 1, 2016, after authorities issued a warrant for her arrest on a continuous child sex abuse charge.
Court documents allege Vera had a nine-month sexual relationship with a 13-year-old male student who authorities say impregnated her. She allegedly later terminated the pregnancy after officials began investigating the case.
Court documents allege she was introduced to the boy’s family as his girlfriend, and the woman said that his parents supported the relationship and invited her to family gatherings.
She reportedly said she told a school district investigator the family was “very supportive and excited” when she disclosed her pregnancy. She allegedly said she and the boy “love each other.”
Florida middle school teacher Debra Beasley Lafave was accused of having sex numerous times in 2004 with a 14-year-old student, including once in a car while his 15-year-old cousin drove. The newlywed was 23 at the time of the abuse
Debra Lafave was a reading teacher at Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace, Fla., a few miles north of Tampa when, in 2004, she was charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a person under 16-years-old.
Lafave pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years house arrest and seven years probation.
Debra Lafave is seen in a Hillsborough County court Dec. 18, 2007. A court ultimately granted LaFave early release from her sex offender probation after she gave birth to twin boys in 2011, a ruling upheld by the Florida Supreme Court. But LaFave was still required to register as a sex offender.