Child Abuse Lawyer
Personal Injury Lawyers - Representing People Nationwide
Child abuse is broadly defined as cruelty inflicted on a child and may take various forms including physical harm, mental abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse or exploitation. Child abuse charges are often accompanied by charges of assault and battery.
Reports of child abuse are received approximately every ten seconds and, on average, three children die due to child abuse each day! Siblings, other family members, caregivers, teachers, strangers, and other children can inflict child abuse. But the likeliest to do so are the abused children's own birth parents. In fact, birth parents inflict the abuse in approximately 80 percent of child abuse cases.
Legislatures often struggle to find a proper balance between protecting children and allowing parents to raise and discipline their children with minimal government intrusion. But while some child abuse laws will continue to be regarded as controversial, few would argue against defenseless, abused, children being afforded some degree of societal protection. All states require caregivers and/or certain other individuals to report suspected cases of child abuse.
Children rely on adults to help them out of abusive situations. If you suspect that a child is being physically or emotionally abused, please report the abuse to police, family services, or child protective services.
Signs that a child is potentially being physically abused include:
- Unexplained and/or untreated burns, bruises and/or bruises and/or injuries
- Injuries that take an exceedingly long time to heal
- Fear of caregivers and/or physical contact
- Excessive shyness
- Running away
Signs that a child is potentially being emotionally or psychologically abused include:
- Eating, speech and/or nervous disorders
- Cruel behavior such as torturing animals or bullying
- Listlessness or withdrawn behavior
Signs that a child is potentially being sexually abused include:
- Frequent sore throat
- Decline in schoolwork
- Difficulty moving and/or sitting
- Pain and/or bruising in genital areas
- Reluctance to undress
- Promiscuous behavior
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
If a child decides to confide that he or she has been abused, be respectful, sit or kneel to be at their eye level, and listen carefully. Be careful not to make any physical contact that may alarm the child.
As previously advised, if you suspect child abuse, or if a child has disclosed abuse, report it to family services, child protective services, or the police. You may then wish to contact a personal injury attorney who can counsel you with regard to your legal rights.