A bill aimed at strengthening prosecution of child abuse cases in Delaware is up for a vote in the state House.
Today’s vote on the bill, which won unanimous approval in the Senate last week, comes amid concerns by some parents that it could affect their ability to discipline children.
In broadening the language in existing law, the bill creates the new felony of second-degree child abuse. Second-degree abuse would include intentionally or recklessly causing physical injury to a child who is 3 years old or younger or who has significant intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Because the bill defines physical injury to a child as “any impairment of physical condition or pain,” some critics fear parents could be prosecuted simply for spanking their young children, which bill supporters deny.