Petition Closed

We live in a day and age in which U.S. state laws permit age discrimination in the Constitutional citizenship birthright to "equal protection" under the law, specifically with regards to assault laws. 

Kids in our country do not presently enjoy the right to be safe from fear of personal injury in America, even though the language of our criminal assault laws and the language of the 14th Amendment's terms of citizenship indicate that they absolutely are entitled to be free from fear of personal injury at any hand.  

This is because of state level child protection laws that allow parental assault upon children as long as the motive is retaliation for displeasure with the child.  Most states do not have restrictions in these laws that are actually enforcable, and many don't address injuries that fall short of life threatening aggravated assault as indicative of abuse.  We can't let this continue.

Children are not lesser citizens just for being younger.  They do not deserve the age discrimination applied to the enforcement of criminal assault laws.


Per Child Maltreatment, the annual U.S. Dept. of Health release on child abuse and neglect data in America:

- 5 kids die every day in the U.S. from abuse.
- 78 percent of the children killed by abuse are under age 3.
- 44 percent of the children killed by abuse each year are under 1 year of age.

The laws must be revised so that people are no longer allowed to commit acts of criminal assault upon children in retaliation for displeasure with their behavior.

Let's send the following letter to our representatives asking them to amend The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act [CAPTA, 42 USC §5106(g)] to offer better protection to children.

Letter to
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
President of the United States
Please assist our children with repair of a serious human rights violation in the law.

Specifically, children in our country do not presently enjoy the right to be safe from fear of personal injury in America, even though the language of our criminal assault laws and the language of the 14th Amendment's terms of citizenship indicate that they absolutely are entitled to be free from fear of personal injury at any hand.

Per the 14th Amendment, 'equal protection' is a constitutional birthright that should be respected in our country. However, that's not respected yet in the U.S., even though by comparison, 28 other countries have already banned all corporal punishment outright as a violation of human rights to safety.

The federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act [CAPTA] definition of child abuse and our state level child protection laws all allow parental assault upon children as long as the motive is retaliation for displeasure with the child. In contrast, the only excuse provided for acts of assault upon any other age group is self defense.

We can't let these violations of human rights continue. Children are not lesser citizens just for being younger. They deserve to feel safe in their schools, homes, and in the care of all persons who provide for them too.

When we allow adults to corporally punish children with only vague legal language restricting those permissions, we give legal permission for America's children to be abused and cruelly mistreated.

We also make it very difficult for child protection agencies to help abused kids, because they can't always qualify acts of abuse as abuse under the vague laws that unintentionally give parents 'rights' to commit assault by failing to prohibit it. Sometimes child advocacy groups are unable to qualify abuse in a child's home even when it's very clearly present.

Per Child Maltreatment, the annual U.S. Dept. of Health release on annual child abuse and neglect data in America:

- 5 kids die every day in the U.S. from abuse.
- 78 percent of the children killed by abuse are under age 3.
- 44 percent of the children killed by abuse each year are under 1 year of age.

The laws must be revised so that people are no longer allowed to commit acts of criminal assault upon children in retaliation for displeasure with their behavior.

Let's start fixing this problem by repairing the definition of child abuse in The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act [CAPTA, 42 USC §5106(g)] to offer better protection to children.

CAPTA serves as a national set of minimum requirements for what must appear in state laws' definitions of child abuse. It hardly touches upon physical assault unless the abuse rises to the level of life-endangering aggravated assault. It mentions 'harm,' but 'harm' is still too vague to be much help. Some state laws say that "excessive," "unjustifiable" or "unnecessarily severe" corporal punishment is against the law, but that language also fails because it doesn't provide enough additional clarification of those terms.

At a minimum, let's repair the CAPTA definition of child abuse to include 'common sense' acts of abuse that we can all see and recognize as clear indications of maltreatment of children! Because this federal definition serves as a minimum standard for states' laws, doing so will also fix the state child "protection" laws that drop the ball when talking about corporal punishment as assault and thereby enable parents to mistreat children.

The U.S. is a leader in defending human rights around the globe -- let's make sure those human rights are now extended to our own children too.

Thank you in advance for your help!