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What to Do When you Suspect Child Abuse

If you are a witness to child abuse in public or private, you may want to report the offender to authorities. However, you want to be tactful when doing this. Before calling in, think about the situation that you observed. Was the situation one where the parents were only showing angry aggression, or were they actually hitting their children in a way that caused the child pain?

If you see parents that seem angry with their children, but are not being physically damaging, then you can step in. Say something like “parenting is a tough job” so that they will focus their energy on your conversation rather than their children. However, don’t criticize parents when they act like this in public, because it probably won’t help the situation.

However, if a neighbor or someone in public is physically hitting and bruising their child or using an inanimate object, this may be a child abuse situation. You should contact authorities at 9-1-1 if you believe that you are a witness to this crime. Don’t be worried that your report will cause the family to lose their child.

In fact, there are many times when parents are confronted of their behavior and may have to pay a fine, but if their offense is not serious and it is in the best interest of the child then the family may be able to remain intact. It is a case by case situation and you shouldn’t worry that your opinion will damage a family for life.

You don’t have to call Child Protective Services first, though this organization was created to intervene in abuse situations. Don’t investigate an abuse situation on your own. Let CPS or the authorities handle everything. If you have been convicted of child abuse because of a neighbor or friend’s report, and you believe that you were falsely accused, then you need a criminal defense attorney to represent you in court. Contact someone today!

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