Child abuse includes such things as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. Neglect involves the failure to provide a minimum standard of care for a child's physical and emotional needs. Child abuse is seldom a single event. There is not just on group involved in child abuse. Rather, it occurs with regularity, often increasing in violence. It crosses all boundaries of income, race, ethnicity, and religious faith. A child abuser is usually closely related to the child, such as a parent, step-parent or other caregiver.In homes where child abuse occurs, fear, instability and confusion replace the love, comfort and nurturing that children need. Abused children live in constant fear of physical harm from a person who is supposed to care for and protect them. They may feel guilt at loving the abuser or blame themselves for causing the violence.
Victims of child abuse may feel that they are bad and deserve the abuse. This often comes as a result of a child having poor self-esteem. In addition to physical injuries that may be the result of abuse, child victims may develop all types of secondary reactions. For example, eating disorders or sleep disturbances, including nightmares are often an outcome of child abuse. Children may also develop speech disorders or developmental lags in their motor skills. Many child victims demonstrate some form of self-destructive behavior. They may develop physical illness such as asthma, ulcers, allergies, or recurring headaches. Moreover, children often experience irrational and persistent fears or hatreds and demonstrate either passive or aggressive behavioral extremes.
These sad descriptions do not come on immediately. Trauma in children can take years to manifest; therefore, it is important that victims of child abuse receive counseling as soon as possible after the abuse is disclosed.
Charges of child abuse and neglect are often raised within the context of a custody dispute. Sometimes, such proceedings are initiated in Family Court when no divorce action is pending. Frequently these allegations are serious and have merit. On occasion, they are falsified by one spouse in an effort to gain an advantage in a custody proceeding. Zimmer and Associates can help you address these matters whether your spouse is harming your child, or whether unfounded allegations of abuse or neglect have been brought against you.