Childhood should be a time of nurture and growth that enables children to develop their imaginations and safely explore their world. Sadly, however, many children become the victims of abuse which can result in permanent and irreversible emotional and physical harm. Child abuse in all its forms is a heinous crime in California. If you suspect your child has been victimized, you need a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney by your side. At the law firm of J&Y, we believe that every child deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and we fight for the rights of abused children.
What is Child Abuse?
Under the California Penal Code, any action that intentionally causes a child to suffer harm is considered abuse, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse:
- Physical abuse – Physical abuse of a child is the willful infliction of any cruel or inhumane bodily harm or injury including, but not limited to, hitting, slapping, shaking, or shoving. Even if the harm is unintentional, however, it may still be considered child abuse.
- Emotional abuse – Emotional abuse of a child often involves bullying, manipulating or humiliating the child, calling the child derogatory names, making threats of violence or abandonment, or routinely demeaning or ignoring the child.
- Sexual abuse -Sexual abuse of a child is any unlawful sexual activity involving a minor child including rape, incest, sodomy, fondling, penetration with a foreign object, indecent exposure, exposing a child to pornography, coercing a child to perform sexual acts, and other lewd and lascivious acts.
California Child Neglect and Abandonment Law (California Penal Code § 270-273.75)
In California it is illegal for any parent to willfully withhold care, food, shelter, medical care, or remedial care from a child without a lawful reason. In addition, a parent who willfully exposes a child to the likelihood of physical harm, mental suffering, or death may be guilty of a crime. It is also illegal to knowingly endanger a child by placing the child in an unsafe situation.
The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (California Penal Code § 11164-11174.3)
This law requires individuals in a position of authority over children to report known or suspected abuse or neglect. While every adult has a duty to report child abuse, this law considers many professionals to be mandatory reporters, including: educators, child care workers, medical professionals, psychologists, day care employees, clergy members, police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians, among others. Mandatory reporters are required to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect to local law enforcement or a child welfare department within 36 hours of receiving information about the incident.
California laws regarding child abuse and neglect apply to parents, custodians, and others who care for children, including schools, daycare providers, religious organizations and other institutions. Depending on the circumstances, child abuse can result in misdemeanor or felony charges.
Protecting Children from Abuse
At the law firm of J&Y, we realize that incidents of child abuse are very sensitive and can be even more so when the abuse comes at the hands of a parent or another close relative. In these circumstances, our experienced attorneys can help you obtain a Protective Order from the court to safe-guard your child.
In cases where an institution or any of its employees victimizes a child, we can file a lawsuit against the abuser and the institution to obtain compensation including past and future costs for medical and psychological treatment, expenses for medications, the child’s pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages.
Our firm is dedicated to fighting child abuse and neglect in California, and we will offer you our compassion and knowledge while recognizing the need to maintain your child’s privacy. If you believe your child has been the victim of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, call our office in confidence today at (877) 735-7035 for a free consultation.