What to Do About Child Abuse and Neglect
Ask a Child Abuse Lawyer for Legal Advice
Child abuse is defined in the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act is “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.” Perpetrators of child abuse can be charged with a felony with prison sentences ranging from 30 days to life in prison depending on the severity of the abuse. However, penalties for child abuse and.or neglect can vary depending on factors such as the state where the abuse took place, age of the child, injuries sustained by the child, and any criminal history on the part of the offender.
If you suspect a child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 and contact the National Child Abuse Hotline here for more resources. To discuss matters of custody or monetary reparations for an injured child, contact a child abuse and neglect lawyer to evaluate the situation and learn more about available options. Experiencing abuse and neglect especially as a child can result in lifelong injuries, both physical and psychological. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, take action.
What are the Statistics on Child Abuse and Neglect?
Child abuse and neglect are both dangerous and deeply damaging for the children involved. This problem has been and continues to be a pervasive issue within American and other cultures and cannot be overlooked. In some states failing to report abuse can even land witnesses in deep legal trouble.
Let’s go over some important child abuse-related statistics from the National Children’s Alliance:
- Every year, approximately 700,000 children are abused and/or neglected.
- More than 3.5 million kids receive an investigation or alternative response from child welfare agencies, and an estimated 1.9 million children receive prevention services.
- Children in their first year and a half of life face the highest risk of victimization.
- Approximately 1,770 children died from abuse and neglect in the U.S. in 2018.
- Neglect is the most common form of abuse.
- Two-thirds of all cases CACs (Children Advocacy Centers) handled in 2019 involve child sexual abuse.
- 92% of abused children were victimized by a parent.
- Child on child abuse is common, with 22% of alleged abusers being children themselves, and 14% of that total teenagers.
Who is Responsible for Child Abuse and Neglect?
Anyone can be responsible for child abuse and neglect, but the vast percentage of perpetrators are family members of the victims. Other parties who might be responsible for child abuse and neglect include:
- Parents/Caretakers. Parents make up the largest percentage of perpetrators of child abuse and neglect. Parents and caretakers have an immense responsibility to care for the health and well-being of their children, both physically and psychologically. Unfortunately, it is not at all uncommon for one or both parents to act abusively or with neglect toward one or more of their children.
- Siblings. It is not uncommon for siblings to abuse each other, especially if the sibling has been abused themselves by another party.
- Non-immediate family members. Non-immediate family members could be responsible for abuse or neglect, especially when left unsupervised with a child.
- Childcare providers. Childcare providers such as preschool staff, teachers, and more could be responsible for abusing a child.
- Friends. Friends of a child might be guilty of abuse, especially when there is an age gap between the victim and the perpetrator.
- Strangers. Strangers are by far the least common perpetrators of child abuse and neglect, but that does not mean it never occurs.
Do You Have a Claim for Child Abuse or Neglect?
Depending on the nature of you or your child’s injuries due to abuse or neglect, a child abuse and neglect lawyer may identify possible claims for:
- Medical expenses. Injuries resulting from abuse or neglect can be wide-ranging and include anything from mild bruises to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and even death.
- Mental health expenses. This could include both inpatient and outpatient treatment expected to be necessary to help a child overcome their psychological damages.
- Rehabilitation expenses.
- Lifecare expenses, such as life support or ongoing medical expenses for chronic injuries.
- Loss of future income.
- Pain and suffering, for both emotional and physical distress.
- Wrongful death.
- Funeral expenses.
If you or your child have suffered due to child abuse or neglect, contact a child abuse lawyer to learn what kind of compensation you might be eligible for as well as how to protect yourself or your children from further damage. If you suspect a child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 and contact the National Child Abuse Hotline for further resources.