Emotional cruelty to children set to become a crime

The government is considering making emotional cruelty to children a criminal offence. Under the plans, parents who deny their children affection face prosecution for the first time. It will also make it a criminal offence to do anything that deliberately harms a child’s ‘physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development’. Parents found guilty under the proposed law change could face up to 10 years in prison, the maximum term in child neglect cases.

The change will update existing laws in England and Wales, which only allow an adult responsible for a child to be prosecuted if they have deliberately assaulted, abandoned or exposed that child to suffering or injury. It is believed that new measures will be introduced ahead of the next election, possibly in the Queen’s Speech…

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