Recognizing the Signs of Child Abuse

While most parents want the best for their children and strive to provide them with safe and loving environments, others, unfortunately, engage in behavior that causes their children to suffer physical, emotional, and psychological trauma. When parents share custody of a child, they may not always be aware that their co-parent or someone in their household is mistreating their child. As such, it is critical for parents to increase their awareness of subtle indicators of harm so that they can recognize the signs of child abuse. If you believe your child is being harmed by your co-parent or a member of their family or household, it is in your best interest to consult a dedicated California domestic violence attorney to determine your options.

Recognizing the Signs of Child Abuse

Children who are being abused often present with signs of harm throughout their bodies. In other words, they may frequently have broken bones or cuts, scratches, or contusions on their bodies and faces. While many children sustain minor bruises or scrapes when they play, children that are being abused often suffer such bodily harm on a more frequent and extensive basis.

Children who are subject to abuse often become withdrawn as well, which is sadly usually attributed to “moodiness” rather than a symptom of harm. They may also become anxious or angry and may lash out at people other than their abusers. Many victims of child abuse suddenly begin performing poorly in school or lose interest in activities they previously enjoyed.

Actions Available to Prevent Child Abuse

In California, child abuse is a crime. As such, if a person suspects that their child is being abused, they should contact the police. If the abuser is a parent of the child, the other parent may ask a court to issue a restraining order to prevent the child from suffering further harm. California law permits parents to seek a domestic violence restraining order on behalf of their children. Additionally, children over the age of eleven can ask the court to issue such orders on their own behalf. Parties that fail to comply with domestic violence restraining orders may face both criminal and civil penalties.

If a child that is being abused is the subject of a custody agreement is being abused by a parent, the non-abusive parent can ask the court for an emergency custody modification on the grounds that it is necessary to prevent the child from suffering further harm. They can also request a modification of the existing custody arrangement, which may include a requirement that the abusive parent is only permitted to have supervised visits with the child, or may result in the loss of parental rights.

Consult a Capable California Domestic Violence Attorney

Children should not have to fear for their well-being, but tragically, many children living in California are subject to abuse from the parties that should provide them with loving care. If you think your child is being abused, you should seek the assistance of an attorney as soon as possible. The capable domestic violence attorneys at the Bay Area Family Law Center are adept at handling sensitive family law matters, and if you hire us, we will fight to help you seek an outcome that is in the best interest of your child. You can reach us at 925-258-2020 or through the form online to set up a meeting.

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