The 2 Types of Child Abuse and Neglect

There are two basic categories of allegations:

1. A single incident of severe abuse or neglect.

For instance, maybe you allegedly sexually assaulted a child or left him or her unattended overnight while you went out partying or shopping.

2. A pattern of abuse or neglect.

For instance, the state may argue that you didn’t feed your child enough nutritious food (e.g. you let him or her have free range access to orange soda and Twix bars without providing enough healthy fat, protein, and vegetables).

Defending against the “single act” type of charge, in general, is simpler. Single acts are discrete in nature and in time. “Multiple-act” charges are more challenging to defend. In fact, the state can make a case that you abused or neglected your child systematically, even if no single act that you committed (or failed to commit) would rise to the level of actionable abuse or neglect on its own.

The court understands that “synergistically related” acts can illustrate an ongoing pattern of neglect or abuse. For instance, maybe you generally fed your children unhealthy food for dinner or kept them home from school systematically or punished them in arbitrary, unfair ways over the course of months or years. The state might say that the “net effect” of these acts constitute harm.

Proving (or disproving) this “net effect” can be challenging for both sides.

For instance, let’s say a case worker regularly started dropping by your home, unannounced. Concurrently, your child began acting out at school and getting in trouble with his teachers. It could be that the case worker’s disruptions caused your child’s anxiety or anger and led to the acting out. Quantum physics says that the act of observing a subatomic particle can change its position and other fundamental characteristics. Likewise, a case worker’s observations of a family can likewise change that family’s dynamics in ways that can lead to neurotic or dysfunctional behavior.

For skillful, experienced assistance battling back against untrue allegations of child abuse or neglect, call the Williams Law Group, LLC immediately at (908) 810-1083.

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