Is diaper discipline child abuse?
by Ronald F
(Birmingham, Alabama, USA)
I know of some children who receive diaper discipline as punishment. One boy, now 17, has been in diapers since he was 12. Is this legal; is it not abuse?
Reply from Darlene regarding your question about diaper discipline: In the state of Alabama, whether or not "diapering" an adolescent as a form of punishment is actually illegal in and of itself, I couldn't say. What I can say is that diapering a teenager would be considered emotional child abuse. The adolescent you referred to will likely be scarred for life because of this form of punishment.
He is way past the age of wearing diapers. He's being treated as a small child, which falls under the emotional abuse category of rejecting. You didn't say whether or not the 17-year-old boy must wear a diaper in public. If he is being made to do so, ridiculing a youth in public would fall under the emotional abuse category of terrorizing. Either way, diapering this boy is humiliating, and cruel and unusual punishment.
Since no details were included about how this teenage boy is diapered, or if he's made to urinate and defecate in the diaper and forced to wear the soiled diaper, there's no way to say whether or not any other form of abuse is taking place, such as neglect, physical abuse or sexual abuse.
This 17-year-old boy should disclose to CPS what he is being forced to endure. If he doesn't feel comfortable disclosing, I would strongly urge him to contact Child Help at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) so that he can talk to a professionally trained counsellor, someone who can lend an ear and offer support.
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir
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