My niece came home from her dad's and she had a handprint bruise on her bottom. When asked how she got the bruise she said that her stepmother spanked her very hard. I asked my niece if she was bare bottomed or had her clothes on and she said that she had her clothed on. This tells me that excessive force was used by this woman. I am very concerned and want to know if this is considered abuse in IN before the next step is taken. My niece is only 5 and she stated the reason for the spanking was because she had an attitude that was by no means something that deserved such force. In my book that is physical and mental abuse but I need to know legally if it is considered as such.
Criminal Defense Attorney
The short, technical answer is yes. However, child abuse statutes generally provide a defense for legitimate parental, corporal punishment. Whether a particular incident was abuse or proper punishment is a question for the jury.