Battered Child Law and Legal Definition

A battered child is a child who is a victim of physical or sexual abuse. Such abuse may be from any adult with whom the child has contact. The abuser could be a parent, a relative, an older sibling, a babysitter, a caretaker, a family friend, a parent's romantic partner, or anyone else. Some children are abused by several people.

The abuse may be in the form of physical violence, sexual abuse, or verbal abuse. A battered child may experience multiple injuries of non-accidental nature. Non-accidental injuries are not injuries resulting from the everyday life and activities of a child but those often seen where children have been severely punished [Hall v. State, 15 Ark. App. 309, 313-314 (Ark. Ct. App. 1985)].

Battered children often experience battered child syndrome. Internal injuries, cuts, burns, bruises, and broken or fractured bones are all possible results of battered child syndrome.