San Diego Child Abuse Lawyers
Legal Help for Victims of Child Abuse
Many parents blindly trust daycare workers, nannies, and teachers with the life and well-being of their child. While the vast majority of child care is provided by warm, loving individuals and groups that intend to be a healthy and safe haven for children, there are still instances when child abuse occurs in child care facilities.
It is more than just bumps and bruises. If left unacknowledged, abuse by caretakers can have deep and long-term effects, for instance, having difficulty establishing normal relationships.
According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), there were 1,593 reported child abuse and neglect related fatalities in 2012.
Child care abuse comes in 4 forms: physical, emotional, neglect, and sexual.
Physical Child Abuse
It is the non-accidental physical injury that often occurs as discipline or punishment. Signs of physical abuse include fractures, burns, bruises, welts, cuts, and in extreme cases, internal injuries.
Signs of Physical Abuse
- Frequent injuries or unexplained bruises, welts, or cuts
- Is always watchful and "on alert," as if waiting for something bad to happen
- Injuries appear to have a pattern such as marks from a hand or belt
- Shies away from touch, flinches at sudden movements, or seems afraid to go to daycare
Child Emotional Abuse
The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect defines emotional abuse as: "acts or omissions by the caregivers that have caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or mental disorders."
Emotional abuse can come in the form of extreme punishment, such as locking a child in a dark closet for an extended period of time. Other acts include scapegoating, belittling, or rejecting treatment.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
- Excessively withdrawn, fearful, or anxious about doing something wrong
- Shows extremes in behavior
- Doesn't seem to be attached to caregiver
Child Neglect, or Denial of Critical Care
A caretaker will refuse adequate food, shelter, clothing, emotional support or any care necessary for the child's health. This puts the child at risk of a health-threatening situation.
Signs of Neglect
- Clothes are that are dirty or inappropriate for the weather.
- Malnourished or dehydrated
- Untreated illnesses and injuries
- Unsupervised in unsafe situations
Child Sexual Abuse
It is a sexual offense with or to a child by the person responsible for the child's care. These offenses include indecent exposure, inappropriate contact, sexual exploitation, and many other malicious acts.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
- Trouble walking or sitting.
- Displays knowledge or interest in sexual acts inappropriate to his age
- Makes strong efforts to avoid a specific person, without an obvious reason
- Doesn't want to change clothes in front of others or participate in physical activities
Daycare abuse is hard to detect, so you need to make sure that your suspicions are legitimate before you pursue legal action. If you suspect that a daycare worker has abused your child, talk with your partner and other parents whose children are in the same daycare to compare behaviors and observations. Learn how to recognize the signs and then you can work to prevent it from happening.
Contact the local child protective services agency, the department of human services for the state, city, or county or a local law enforcement officer.
Contact a San Diego Child Care Abuse Attorney
A San Diego child injury attorney can inform you of your rights and legal options. We understand that abused children have long-term physical, psychological, behavioral, and societal effects and that the healing process is slow and gradual. If you suspect a child is being abused by a person responsible for ensuring his safety and well-being, call the lawyers at the Jurewitz Law Group at (619) 233-5020 or (888) 233-5020.
- The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS)
- Administration for Children & Families - Child Abuse & Neglect
- Child Welfare Information Gateway
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Call the Jurewitz Law Group at (619) 233-5020 and begin your path to recovery with a no-cost consultation today.