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Child Abuse and Neglect

Domestic violence takes many forms which may include; physical -(beating, restraining, throwing harmful objects, stubbing, slapping or kicking), neglect, intimidation, emotional disturbance, sexual abuse, controlling or domineering. It is caused by disagreement mainly due to psychological, behavioral or mental imbalances and the effects can be felt physical, psychologically and financially.

The challenge of enforcing the law on the domestic violence is mainly focused on determining the best ways of dealing with domestic violence issues and the problems that accompany it. During most of the jurisdictions , the police departments, the prosecuting officers and the victim advocacy play a vital role in the process of arresting, prosecution, and the victim services. However different communities have tailored the responses to some of its specific needs.

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The personal statements of the victim are required to enable the victim to be involved in the criminal justice process, the report should be based on intimidation and the victim should be given a chance to state how the crime has affected them. The report for prosecution must include the following  information ; a brief history of the relationship (past history of violence), the details of the victims injuries either medical or photographic  extracts, the details on the type of weapons used for assaulting, any attempt of  further threats, and the victims personal views on their own or the children's personal safety in case a prosecution doesn't follow. Further victim personal statements should be submitted at any time. In case a victim in domestic abuse case wants to withdraw the support for supporting a prosecution against the partner it should be allowed though frustrating to the investigating officer.

In some specific circumstances, the police may experience the difficulty in determining who is the initiator an attack in a domestic violence incident; this may be , due to a lack of injury, the weapons, any witnesses ora quick access to the police records. 

The police may also have unlimited time to make a decision. In such circumstances, the police may be compelled to arrest both the parties and leave the prosecutors and criminal justice system to make a decision on who was the primary aggressor.

Gender neutrality, if it is not clear on which party is at fault, the police may aim to consider the gender neutrality and arrest both of the parties.

Child abuse can be perpetrated by someone the child knows or any other person that is capable of committing the act either willingly or unwillingly. The signs of child abuse are varied and can take the following forms

•Signs of Physical Abuse- bruises, burn, fracture, abdominal or head injury)

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•Signs of Sexual Abuse-nightmares, depression, Abdominal pain, genital pain or bleeding, sexually transmitted disease

•Signs of Emotional Abuse-Sudden change in self-confidence, Headaches, Abnormal fears, increased nightmares, the Attempts to run away.

Whatever the reason, no child deserves to be harmed, children depend on the adults for the protection, therefore the rights of children should be advocated, The effects of child abuse vary, depending on the type of abuse. In most cases the abused children turn to drugs and substance abuse as they get older which is a psychological mode of escape.

Child abuse is the harm to, or the neglect of a child by another person, whether it is an adult or another child, it can either be physical, emotional, sexual or general neglect. It can cause injuries to the child that may even result to death.

Child neglect on the other hand is when the supposedly responsible adult fails in providing  adequately for the needs of a child, this includes:

  • physical-failure to provide food, clothing, and hygiene.
  • Emotional -failure to provide nurture or  give affection.
  • Educational -the failure to enroll a child into a  school.
  • medical -failure to medicate or take the child to a qualified physician.

Under ICWA, It is stated that an Indian child can only be removed from the parental/guardian home and be placed in the foster care when there is a clear and convincing evidence that shows the remaining with the parent or custodian can result in serious harm either physical or emotional.

This evidence can only be supported by a strong testimony from the expert witness, who is someone that is an expert in the child's tribal matters but not an expert on ICWA. minimal standards for nearly all Indian child custody proceedings, including the adoption, the voluntary and the  involuntary termination of the parental rights, and the removal and foster care placement of the Indian children, but with the exclusion of divorce and the child delinquency proceedings.

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The various organizations at Regional, national, and state levels in various parts of the world  provide community social services and leadership that is keyed at helping to  prevent child abuse and neglect. The National Alliance of Children's Trust Funds and the Prevent Child Abuse are the  two Non governmental organizations in America with member organizations at the state level. This organizations provide social services to the abused or neglected children.

Other organizations help by focusing on the  specific prevention strategies for instance, the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome has focused all its efforts on the specific issue of preventing child abuse by offering the  training program used for preventing the ongoing child abuse.

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