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  1. #1
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    Oct 2013
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    Default Can You Use Self-Defense to Stop a Parent's Physical Discipline

    My question involves child abuse or neglect in the State of: Arkansas

    A friend of mine is physically abused by his parent, however she denies it to the investigators so the reports don't get substantiated. She also does things like slap him around that don't technically constitute child abuse. My question is, is he legally allowed to defend himself against physical attacks like that that do not technically constitute child abuse?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Child Abuse and Self Defense

    You mean, is a child allowed to batter a parent? No, that is a crime.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2013
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    Default Re: Child Abuse and Self Defense

    He is legally allowed to defend himself against things like kicking, correct?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Child Abuse and Self Defense

    Every situation has to be evaluated independently. Neither we nor anyone else can give all possible lawful reactions to all possible levels of discipline being administered and whether or not it would constitute self defense. That is a judgment that gets made by a JURY, after the fact. If abuse is suspected, the ONLY recourse is to report it. If your friend isn't willing to discuss what's happening with investigators, then it's all a moot point.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2013
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    Default Re: Child Abuse and Self Defense

    Quote Quoting aardvarc
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    If abuse is suspected, the ONLY recourse is to report it.
    I meant what form of action is lawful during an attack?

    Quote Quoting aardvarc
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    If your friend isn't willing to discuss what's happening with investigators, then it's all a moot point.
    He is willing to discuss the situation with investigators, but ultimately the reports get unsubstantiated, since it ends up being his word against hers.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Child Abuse and Self Defense

    If you are looking for a black and white list of "he may do this, this and this but not that, that and that" no such list exists. READ Catherine's post again.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Child Abuse and Self Defense

    Parents are allowed to physically discipline their children. UNLAWFUL, ie abusive, force may generally be met with the minimum force necessary to prevent injury to oneself, and not a tiny bit more. But again, these are things that get determined by juries, AFTER an incident has occurred and an arrest has happened. If you're asking us what he can do without getting arrested, that question can't be answered. It is entirely dependent on the exact given facts at a precise moment in time. Bottom line is that a parent may physically discipline a child, so long as the threshold of abuse isn't crossed. If discipline occurs that may be abusive, it needs to be reported to authorities. If there isn't any evidence of abuse (ie marks, bruises) then action won't likely be taken against the parent - and, if the discipline isn't crossing the line to abuse, then the minor's BETTER course of action is to not do things that BRING lawful discipline.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    244

    Default Re: Child Abuse and Self Defense

    One has the right to defend themselves. Its a natural right; one that is not subject to a vote or can be limited by law.

    The definition of child abuse has changed over time. Its a criminal and civil issue subject to changes by votes of legislatures.

    But the right to defend oneself is a natural right ... it is not subject to the whims of legislatures or courts. The only thing that legislatures and courts can do is to oppress this natural right. Currently, most jurisdictions still see the right to defense as a legitimate right .

    I don't seem to think that age is a factor in the natural right to defend oneself.

    So if the actions of the parent require self-defense is a question based on the facts. You do not list FACTS, you list legal conclusions.


    Hence, I cannot advise...plus the OP is not the person of this subject matter query ... further response would be based on hearsay and I don't like to post opinions based on hearsay.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Default Re: Child Abuse and Self Defense

    In Arkansas striking a child over the age of six on the head cannot legally constitute child abuse unless physical injury results http://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas...er-1/12-18-103 yet it seems that striking a child on the head, regardless of age, is considered legally to be likely to result in injury http://www.stoparchildabuse.com/discipline.htm . So is force justifiable to prevent striking on the head?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    24,384

    Default Re: Child Abuse and Self Defense

    If I tell you what you want to hear, will you stop?

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