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Children’s Issues – Abuse / Violence

Family Law aims to protect the interests of every family member. The connection between abuse, violence and family breakdown is undeniable, and ensuring safety for children is in everyone’s best interest. Abuse and violence take many forms and include coercion and control, even when not accompanied by physical violence or threatening behaviour.

What is considered neglect or child abuse?

Neglect and child abuse are behaviours outside the norms of appropriate conduct, entailing a substantial risk of emotional or physical harm to a child. This detrimental or criminal behaviour may be carried out with intent, be unintentional, or caused through omission (neglect) or commission (abuse).

Incidences of child abuse and neglect are uncovered by medical professionals, social services and legal or judicial approaches. Taylor & Scott Lawyers take all aspects into consideration when assisting victims of abuse and violence, ensuring greater potential for achieving a successful prosecution of perpetrators and establishment of a safe haven for vulnerable young people. There are five main subtypes of child abuse (maltreatment).

  • Neglect
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional maltreatment
  • Exposure to family violence

When is a child in need of protection?

Children are vulnerable to perpetrators of abuse and violence so require a safe and secure living environment at all times. The responsibility to protect children lies with every adult family member, and reporting concerns regarding child abuse or violence to the relevant authorities is your obligation.

The above five subtypes of child abuse can take many forms and you may be uncertain if the situation you are experiencing comes under the child abuse banner. The welfare of every child is important, and sometimes urgent, so contacting the police or appropriate government authority is the first step. If you feel your concerns are being ignored, contact Taylor & Scott family law experts for a comprehensive case assessment.

For example, emotional abuse (maltreatment), also called psychological abuse, can manifest in ways that may go unnoticed by some people, or even be accepted as normal behaviour in families who suffer from a generational abuse cycle. Emotional maltreatment includes:

  • Rejecting the child by refusing the child’s needs or minimising the child’s worth.
  • Isolating the child from friendships, social activities and opportunities for growth.
  • Terrorising and bullying the child with verbal threats and intimidation.
  • Ignoring and depriving the child of stimulation, reciprocation and responsiveness.
  • Corrupting and encouraging the child to act in an antisocial or dangerous manner.

What happens when someone reports child abuse?

The Department of Family and Community Services (“FACS”) is responsible for assessing reports of family abuse or violence. When a person calls the Child Protection Helpline, the situation is investigated by a child protection caseworker. The FACS response should also consider the immediate wellbeing and safety of the child and other vulnerable children or young people at the same residence.

Previous reports and incidences of family abuse or violence are examined along with present circumstances. Information related to the safety and wellbeing of a child can be shared between government agencies that include the NSW Police, the Department of Education and NSW Health.

Punishment for perpetrators of abuse or violence will vary according to the degree of suffering inflicted. This can range from compulsory attendance at rehabilitation programs for less serious charges, to imprisonment for serious offenders.

What can you do if a false claim is made against you?

In some cases, false allegations of child abuse surface between hostile partners, and legal representation may be necessary to clear your name. Children are unfortunately used as pawns between parents during separation, and it’s not uncommon for people to try and deceive the police or government representatives, or lay false charges against a spouse or partner in order to get their way.

Fortunately, Taylor & Scott Lawyers have been assisting the people of Sydney and NSW to achieve fair and just outcomes since 1906. Our family law specialists are the finest in the business and dedicated to their specific area of expertise. Our assistance includes investigation, gathering evidence, collecting witness statements and presentation of a thorough and conclusive evidence document should you need representation in court.

At Taylor & Scott, We Care For You.