Advocates For Victims Of Child Abuse
Despite the damaging effects that child abuse and neglect have on children, thousands of cases involving child abuse are reported yearly. Attorneys with The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates are strong advocates for children’s rights. At our Gainesville family law firm, we believe that the safety and well-being of children should always be prioritized. If you suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse and/or neglect, you have a duty to protect the child from further abuse. A Gainesville attorney can help you detect and handle child abuse and/or cases involving the neglect of a minor in the State of Florida.
What Constitutes Child Abuse & Neglect?
Child abuse and neglect are two of the most common forms of inhumane treatment to which children can be subjected by a parent, guardian or caregiver. Child abuse constitutes any act or behavior that imparts discomfort, pain or harm to a child. Neglect is the failure to meet the basic needs of a child. Forms of child abuse and neglect can be seen both physically and emotionally.
Substance abuse has a substantial effect on child welfare and can occur when a custodian or caregiver abuses and/or becomes addicted to alcohol or drugs. Exposing children to drugs and alcohol, as well as selling or distributing drugs and alcohol to children constitutes child substance abuse.
Physical abuse is a common form of child abuse. It involves physical acts, such as kicking, pulling, scratching, stomping, punching or pushing. This form of abuse also includes throwing objects against children and/or forced acts that result in bruising or physical harm.
Emotional abuse, also known as psychological abuse, occurs when a caregiver constantly rejects, threatens or criticizes the child. Emotional abuse is commonly seen through name calling and personal attacks, which can lead to depression and anxiety in the child.
Sexual abuse can include fondling and touching of a child’s genitals. Incest, sodomy, rape, indecent exposure — usually through forced pornographic participation and/or viewing — and penetration are all examples of sexual abuse to a child.
Neglect, often called abandonment, is the term given to caregivers who fail to meet basic needs for their children. Neglect can occur in a number of different forms in any family, such as physical, medical, educational, and emotional.
- Physical Neglect. Lack of food, shelter & supervision.
- Medical Neglect. Failure to provide necessary medical treatment & medication.
- Educational Neglect. Refusing to provide access to education.
- Emotional Neglect. The failure to meet a child’s psychological needs.
What To Do If You Suspect Child Abuse
There are a number of different signs and symptoms children may display if child abuse and/or neglect occurs. This can be seen through a decline in learning behaviors or educational performance, unexplained bruises, and excessive shyness and isolation, among other signs. If you suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse, report the incident with the local authorities or the local child welfare center immediately. Once the suspicion is reported, a child advocate or social worker will be assigned to the family for investigation.
What To Do If You Witness Child Abuse
If you have witnessed child abuse, you are required — per Florida law — to promptly report the incident with local authorities or the local child welfare office. As a witness to child abuse, you have the power to report the crime and help put a stop to the child’s suffering. A family law lawyer can help you and the child throughout court proceedings. To speak with an experienced family law attorney, contact us today.