Child abuse attorneys in Los Angles and abused children lawyers attorneys in Orange County cities like Santa Ana, Anaheim Hills and Huntington Beach are the first ones to tell you that the abuse of a child is not always obvious. The abuse can take many forms such as chronic neglect or starvation by a caregiver, abuse of children in foster care, or it could be seen when a child comes into an emergency room with a spiral fracture or showing signs of “shaken baby” syndrome. Abuse can also be as heinous as sexual abuse by a parent, step-parent, or foster parent; witnessing domestic violence of one parent against the other, or; as benign as failing to meet the special needs of a child’s education. It can even result in wrongful death of a child.
All of these qualify as “child abuse.” Worse, over 2,000 children succumb to death due to abuse and neglect each year. We hope the information we provide will assist you in being aware of the different kinds of child neglect and abuse. We also hope you recognize what your duties and what you can do to be of assistance to those who are victims. Neglect, injury, accidents, broken bones, abuse of a sexual nature, brain trauma, skull fractures, shaken baby syndrome, and even death; the Orange County, Cailifornia Child Abuse Attorneys will help you seek restitution for your suffering.
Can you explain child abuse and neglect?
According to federal law, each state must adopt the definition of child abuse according to The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). The act defines four categories of abuse: physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, and neglect.
1. Physical abuse is the easiest form of abuse to identify. Bruising, wounds, broken bones, brain damage, cuts, burns, and concussions are all signs of abuse. These injuries can be caused by striking, kicking, beating, shaking, burning, or throwing a child. The abuser’s intent is irrelevant. If their action resulted in harm, it is unacceptable.
2. Emotional abuse happens when a parent, pre-school teacher, foster parent, or other caregiver undertakes a pattern of behavior that has a negative impact on a child’s emotional well-being and development. As a matter of fact, according to the federal government, emotionally abused children account for 7% of all abuse cases. Emotional abuse can take many forms: withholding support, affection, threats, being excessively critical, and confining the child to small spaces for extensive periods of time.
3. Sexual Abuse is the most heinous of crimes and abuses. This is defined as the use of a child for the sexual gratification of an adult. It can include inducing, coercing, or persuading a child to engage in or assist with a sexual act. Rape, child prostitution, pornography, and exploitation of a child are all examples. Sexual abuse accounts for about 10% of all child abuse cases.
4. Child neglect is the abuse most often seen by professionals. It is estimated that neglect accounts for 60% of all cases of abuse. There are various forms of child neglect, and not all cases of failing to supervise or ignoring a child fall into the neglect category although they may be acute neglect. The failure of the parent or caregiver must be ongoing and repeated to be considered chronic. Failing to meet the basic needs of the child such as food, shelter, and medical care can be considered neglect. Failure to provide for the child’s emotional well-being, repeated exposure to domestic violence, and failing to provide for a child’s educational requirements are also forms of child neglect.
What are you responsibilities?
Taking action immediately is the best way to protect a child you suspect is being abused or neglected. Acting quickly is important to prevent irreversible damage to the child’s life. In some cases, responding to the abuse or neglect is mandated by law and always in the best interests of the child. If you or an adult has knowledge of the abuse or neglect, you have a duty to report it or risk being held liable for failure to act and allowing the abuse to continue.
A professional such as a teacher, nurse, therapist, psychologist, social worker, administrator, or probation officer is bound by law to report any abuse they see immediately. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, these professionals report approximately 56% of alleged child abuse cases. The rest of the cases are reported by laypeople like friends, family members, or neighbors. If a professional, including health care providers who are required in California to report abuse in a timely way, fails to report suspected abuse they face fines and possibly jail.
Further, they open themselves up for liability in a civil case seeking damages for physical and mental injuries, pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and any disability suffered by the abused child. Reporting child abuse and neglect can be the responsibility of any adult who sees or suspects it. Seeking damages for the abuse on behalf of the child falls on the parent.
Knowing who to hold responsible and going after them for what they’ve done is our job. Even if it involves rape on a Princess Cruise ship, leave the work of compensation to the Southern California Child Abuse Attorneys. Once you’ve reported the abuse and a case has been started, the authorities take over and work to stop the neglect.
They will not seek compensation for your losses and the damage done to your child. We can and will go after the abuser or anyone who knew of the abuse or neglect and failed to act. Call Ehline Law Firm PC injury lawyers in Los Angeles or Orange County at 1-888-400-9721 today to discuss your case and get a free consultation.