As family law attorneys, we wish every child, spouse, sibling, and relative could have access to a loving, safe, stable, and blessed home. Sadly, the threat of family violence, child abuse, and neglect is an ever-present and, at times, silent danger.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, police responded to 232,840 incidents of family violence in 2021, up from 213,875 in 2020 and 196,902 in 2019. Of those, the Texas Council on Family Violence said 165 women were killed by their partners. Even more staggering, the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas reported that 67,558 children received critical services at its centers in 2022. And 98% of those children knew their alleged perpetrator.
These are sobering statistics, to say the least. And what is scarier to think about is how many potential cases of family violence, child abuse, and neglect go unreported each year because either the family is too afraid to self-report or no one else does anything about it.
What Is Family Violence, Child Abuse, and Neglect?
The State of Texas requires licensed professionals such as teachers, doctors, medical personnel, and daycare officials to report any instances of family violence, child abuse, and neglect. We as a society — the general public — should also be compelled to report as well. Part of that comes with knowing what these terms mean, what to look for, and how to report an incident.
This is an umbrella term used to describe any form of abuse, mistreatment, physical harm, injury, sexual assault, neglect, feelings of fear, or threats perpetrated by one family member or person with whom the victim has an intimate relationship with, against another child or adult in the same family. Common forms of family violence can be physical (pushing, punching, kicking), sexual violence (acts performed without consent), or emotional or verbal abuse.
A physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, or economic act that results in mental or emotional injury, physical injury, the threat of physical injury, sexual misconduct, or controlled-substance use. Abuse can include humiliation, manipulation, intimidation, etc.
The act of leaving a child or adult in a situation where they would be exposed to a substantial risk of physical or mental harm, with no intent to return. It also includes not providing food, medical treatment, and intentionally not removing a child from a harmful situation. Neglect also includes placing a child in a situation that a reasonable person would realize requires judgment or actions beyond the child’s level of maturity or physical or mental capabilities and that results in bodily injury or a substantial risk of harm.
How to File a Report of Family Violence, Abuse, and Neglect?
Family violence, child abuse, and neglect are serious matters that we should all try to have a hand in avoiding and reporting to the necessary agencies. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-7233. Reports of suspected child abuse or neglect should be made to any state or local law enforcement agency, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and the state agency that operates, licenses, certifies, or registers the facility in which the alleged abuse or neglect occurred (daycare facility).
It is important to include as much detail as possible, including incident information, the full names of specific parties involved (perpetrators and victims) and their current location, and any other pertinent information.
Call Nelson Law Group today!!
The Nelson Law Group brings nearly two decades of experience in family law to every case. Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC, a call if you have any further questions regarding this or any other issue.
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