Do You Know How to Spot Child Abuse?
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time where we reflect on how important it is to stop child abuse and neglect in our communities. According to the US Department of Health & Human Services Children’s Bureau, 686,000 children nationwide were victims of abuse and neglect in 2012. This is a problem that’s just not going away.
It may be difficult to become involved in such a private situation as child abuse but not doing anything could be just as bad. In New Jersey, the penalties for child abuse and neglect are very strict. But if you fail to report the crime, you could be fined up to $1,000 and be sent to prison for up to six months. So in the case of child abuse, it’s better to be wrong than do nothing at all.
But how do you know if a child is being abused? Here are a few warning signs to keep in mind:
- The child’s behavior has changed. For example, a normally outgoing child has become withdrawn.
- There are unexplained injuries on the child, such as a black eye or a burn.
- The child’s behavior has regressed. For example, a 10-year-old child has begun sucking his thumb.
- The child is afraid to go places with someone or doesn’t want to go home
- Eat habits have changed, resulting in weight gain or loss.
- Performance in school has changed
- Lack of personal care
- Sleeping habits have changed
- The child exhibits much more risky behavior such as taking drugs or carrying a weapon
- The child has become overly sexualized or uses explicit sexual language
If you know of a child who is being abused, you may want to talk with an attorney to protect your rights. At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we have 26 years of experience in handling child abuse cases and dealing with the DCP&P. In addition to aggressive representation in court, we are sensitive to your needs. If you suspect someone is abusing your child, contact us today for a free consultation.