SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - It's been a bumpy start to the NFL season. Just last week the league suspended Ravens star Ray Rice indefinitely after video surfaced of him punching his then-fiancee unconscious. Wednesday, Adrian Peterson is the next football player to be exempt -- this time for child abuse, and it's a problem that's on the rise in Santa Barbara County.
Last year, there were 4,653 child abuse reports made in Santa Barbara County.
CALM (Child Abuse Listening Mediation) says spanking is legal but not recommended. "We don't recommend spanking because when the parent is angry they are more forceful then they realize and they may end up leaving a bruise or a mark on their child," said Deborah Holmes, assistant director of CALM in Santa Barbara.
A recent study shows that physical abuse leads to chronic heath issues down the road.
Child abuse awareness has been growing ever since NFL star running back Adrian Peterson was exempted from the Minnesota Vikings. He is accused of leaving wounds and bruises on his 4-year-old son with a tree branch.