Child Neglect and Abuse. What is it?
Child abuse lawyers and child neglect attorneys have a very difficult job to do: they must humanize individuals who have already slipped away from the presumption of innocence. In this country, the allegation of any crime involving a child receives high scrutiny and, unfortunately, immediate scorn. Individuals who are accused of these crimes must find a child abuse attorney who has successfully steered cases of this nature, as they are highly nuanced and more difficult to manage than those cases of drugs or theft. Whether you require a family attorney to help you petition for a successful investigation and custody arrangement to protect a minor child or to protect yourself from false accusations the first step is finding an aggressive abuse lawyer.
Under the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), child physical abuse and neglect is defined as:
- Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or
- An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.
This Federal law provides guidance to states by establishing the minimum criteria needed for an act to constitute abuse or neglect. Within the minimum guidelines set forth by CAPTA, states are responsible for establishing their own definitions of child abuse and neglect. A lawyer for abuse and neglect complaints or defense can explain more fully how CAPTA is relative to New York’s own statutes and laws.
If Your Child has been Abused, You Need a Comforting Legal Advice
It is important to understand what is considered “maltreatment” and the effects on a minor child to grasp why it is that the laws are written in such a manner and why a child abuse defense attorney is an excellent consultant on your case whether you are alleging or defending abuse complaints.
Types of Maltreatment
Though state laws vary, in general, six types of maltreatment are recognized. These are:
- Physical abuse (nonaccidental physical injury)
- Neglect (the failure to take care of the child’s basic needs)
- Sexual abuse (wrongful touching or interaction that involves a sexual component)
- Emotional abuse (a pattern of behavior that impairs a child’s emotional development)
- Abandonment (the child is left alone by the parent, resulting in danger or harm to the child)
- Substance abuse (prenatal exposure to drugs, giving drugs to a child, caring for a child while significantly impaired by drugs)
Who is affected?
According to Dr. John Merch, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the incidence of child abuse and neglect within the United States is 12.1 per 1000 children. The children who are most likely to suffer from abuse or neglect fall into the following five categories:
- Children less than three years old
- Children with a past history of abuse
- Children with learning disabilities or mental and physical impairments
- Children with congenital malformations or chronic medical conditions
- Adopted and foster children
What Can be Done?
Lawyers for child abuse are there to help if you feel that your partner may be abusing a minor child in your home—either for consultation or to write a letter of memorandum to the district attorney’s office. All child abuse charges are serious, and you must be absolutely certain that this is going on before making an accusation. Discuss child abuse charges with a reputable attorney for child abuse and he or she can impart advice on how to proceed.
The best way to combat child abuse and neglect is the recognize the signs. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, some signs which may indicate the presence of child abuse are sudden changes in the child’s mood or behavior; child is hyper vigilant or observant; child is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn; and comes to school early and stays late in an attempt to avoid their home environment. One sign taken in isolation is not necessarily indicative of an abusive situation, so individuals should look for a pattern when trying to ascertain the presence of abuse or neglect. If you suspect there is abuse or neglect, contact a child abuse attorney or law enforcement authorities immediately.
If you have been unjustly accused of child abuse…
If, however, you have been unjustly accused of child abuse or neglect you should also contact a child abuse attorney with experience in defending cases of this nature. Unfortunately, not all custody cases are upfront and well-intentioned. Many times accusations of abuse are levied in order to gain a position in the court that is favorable to one partner. This is terrible but all too often an occurrence. An attorney child abuse must defend your integrity and interests with voracity.
If you have been accused, call one of our child abuse attorneys today. Bruce Provda is on a standby willing to help with your case.