Child Abuse Attorneys in Pensacola
Fiercely Protecting Children in Unsafe Situations
No child should have to grow up in an unsafe environment. Anyone can tell you that keeping a child in a caring, nurturing, and abuse-free home is a good starting point for any young person. Sadly, we see all too often that not every child is granted the same opportunity to grow up in that kind of environment. Instead, some must endure the trauma of psychological, physical, or even sexual abuse. No form of child abuse is acceptable, but they are not all created equal and each presents unique difficulties.
If you need legal counsel regarding a child abuse case, turn to the professionals at Autumn Beck Blackledge, PLLC. We are passionate about protecting children and effectively serving families.
Call our Pensacola child abuse lawyers at (850) 404-7263 now.
What Qualifies as Child Abuse?
One of the most noticeable indicators of physical abuse is a pattern of regularly occurring injuries like bruises, burns, or even broken bones. There are those who consider the definition of child abuse to be a somewhat murky term. However, the fact remains that in the eyes of the court, physically beating or assaulting a child is unlawful and subject to legal intervention.
On another note, other forms of abuse like neglect do not leave readily visible effects. The psychological damage of things like neglect and emotional abuse can leave a lasting negative impression on a child’s psyche. Neglect can be characterized by a parent or guardian’s lack of necessary attention for essential aspects of care like clothing, food, shelter, education, and medical care. Similarly, emotional abuse can take many shapes and forms. They may be verbally degrading remarks to the child or possibly administering punishment that far outweighs the child’s transgression.
Child sexual abuse is potentially the most damaging and difficult thing to talk about. As many reports and extensive research have demonstrated, it is often very difficult for victims of sexual assault to speak about their experience, especially for children. Too often, there are stories of victims experiencing sexual assault who can’t speak openly about their experience until long after the abuse has ended. Manners of sexual abuse can take the form of anything from non-consensual physical contact and sexually suggestive remarks to full-on sexual intercourse and rape.
Regardless of the way the abuse takes shape in a child’s life, there is no place for it. When a person takes on the role of caretaker, guardian, or parent, their child is wholly considered their responsibility.
Child abuse can leave long-lasting physical and psychological impacts, including:
- Physical scars
- Emotional and psychological fears that impair daily activities
- Suicidal thoughts
- Various mental health issues
The Florida Department of Children and Families is the agency primarily tasked with ensuring that children reside in safe, abuse-free homes. If you believe that your child has been abused, or you know a child has been abused, you need to call the Florida Abuse Hotline and report the abuse. You can report abuse online at https://reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us/ or by calling (800) 962-2873.
False Child Abuse Allegations
There is also another dark side of abuse that isn’t as readily identifiable: when one parent makes false allegations of child abuse and accuses the child’s other parent. It sadly occurs more than people may think. Children are sometimes easily manipulated and will go along with a bitter parent’s plan to accuse the other parent. These allegations of abuse are detrimental to all parties involved. Sometimes the false allegations of abuse can rise to the level of child abuse itself and is often considered a major factor in identifying parental alienation.
If this is happening in your family law case and you have been falsely accused of abuse or have been the victim of parental alienation, you cannot always rely on the Department of Children and Families to identify this abuse correctly. It often takes quite a bit of time and patience to unravel the deep stories of false allegations of abuse to get the child to the right parent and safe from the psychological abuse of alienation.
To learn more about how our Pensacola child abuse attorneys can help with your case, call Autumn Beck Blackledge, PLLC at (850) 404-7263.