Child Abuse Attorneys in Gainesville, FL
In the United States, 6.3 million cases of child abuse are reported each year, according to Childhelp, a non-profit charity that aids victims of child abuse. Less than half of those cases actually receive a full course investigation and action. If you suspect that your child has experienced a form of abuse, an experienced family law attorney can assist you with the overall process and ensure that your child is protected.
Florida Lawyers Defending Victims of Child Abuse
Child abuse is the term given to acts (or failure of acts) by parents and caregivers (i.e. teachers, babysitters, family members) who contribute to emotional, physical and/or sexual harm to anyone under the age of 18. Disciplinary procedures that do not cause harm to a child are not considered child abuse.
Types of Physical Child Abuse
Physical abuse results in physical injury to a child. This can be done in the forms of:
- Hitting, shaking, shoving, pushing
- Beating a child with objects (i.e. shoes, brooms, glass, etc.)
- Throwing objects at a child
- Burning a child (i.e. irons, cigarettes, stove, etc.)
- Locking a child into confined areas for long periods of time
- Cruel and unusual punishment (i.e. forcing a child to kneel on hard surfaces for long periods of time)
- Pouring hot or boiling water on a child
Emotional Abuse of a Child
Emotional abuse results in serious emotional injury to a child including depression, anxiety and overall low self-esteem. Common forms of emotional abuse are:
- Excessive yelling
- Secluding a child from friends and/or family members
- Describing a child with negative adjectives (i.e. evil, stupid, ugly, etc.) or telling a child that he/she is unworthy/invaluable
- Forcing a child to view domestic abuse
- Refusing to allow a child basic human activities (i.e. laughter, eating, using the bathroom)
Sexual Abuse of a Minor
Sexual abuse results in sexual injury to a child. Sexual abuse can be in many different forms including:
- Forcing a child to watch or participate in pronography or other adult material
- Forcing or recording a child engage in sexual acts with another child or adult
- Engaging in oral, anal or vaginal intercourse with a child
- Inserting objects into a child’s mouth or private areas
- Touching, tickling or otherwise fondling a child’s genitals or private body parts
If you suspect that your child is abused, you have the right and legal obligation to report the incident immediately. An experienced child abuse attorney can assist you with reporting any incidents or suspicious activity, while also protecting your parental rights.
Florida Department of Children & Families Intervention
In the state of Florida, the Department of Children & Families only intervenes in child abuse cases if there is reason to believe that a child is in immediate danger. In most cases, a person has to report mysterious incidents or information that suggests that a child is being abused at home or school. Depending on the severity of the case and the frequency of reports, the state will intervene. Once a child abuse case opens, it requires a communal effort. Police officers, lawyers, medical examiners and social workers all play significant roles in the process.
Throughout the investigation and/or trial, the Department of Children & Families seeks to preserve and uphold the safety of the child. If a child’s home is deemed as a threat to the well-being of the child, the following may occur:
- Voluntary Assistance/Services
- Court-Ordered Supervision/Services and/or Visitations
- Out-of-Home Placement (with family members or foster care systems)
- Termination of Parental Rights
During the child abuse investigation process, you may be interviewed by officers and medical professionals. You should be clear, specific and completely truthful during these interviews. If the Florida Department of Children & Families removes your child from your home, you can request visitation rights or petition. It is best that you consult a child abuse attorney during this significant time in your life.
Child Abuse Attorneys in Gainesville, FL
Child abuse cases can be lengthy, tedious and sometimes messy. They often result in much trauma, frustration and fear to the child and disorientation in your home as a whole. If you suspect that your child has been abused, or if your home is being investigated for child abuse, you should contact a child abuse lawyer immediately. An experienced child abuse attorney can help you:
- Understand how the process works and know what to expect
- Ensure that your child rights are protected entirely
- Ensure that your child’s offender is given the appropriate consequences
- Protect your parental rights
No child deserves to be physically, emotionally or sexually injured. But when it happens, our child abuse attorneys at the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates can ensure that justice is served.
Contact us today.