When caring for a child, parents and legal guardians need to be financially and emotionally capable of supporting a child to the best of their ability. Moreover, they must provide adequate care including supervision, food, clothes, medical care, and housing.
When adequate care is not provided, the responsible adult may be considered negligent. Additionally, child abuse may occur when a child under the age of 18 is mistreated by an adult, typically by a parent, a parent’s significant other, relative, unrelated person living in the home, caretaker, or any other person responsible for the child’s well-being during a given amount of time.
The mistreatment of a child must cause injury or put the child at risk of physical injury. Abuse can be physical or emotional. Physical abuse can include burns or broken bones. Sexual abuse can include fondling or incest.
Child Abuse Statistics
Unfortunately, there are many cases where parents or legal guardians fail to provide the “minimal parenting” requirements in order to furnish necessities for a child.
As of June 30, 2017, there were 27,444 indicated cases of child abuse and neglect in the state of Illinois, meaning that there was an investigation of suspected child abuse and neglect that revealed credible evidence of the mistreatment. In Cook County alone, there were 7,053 indicated cases of child abuse and neglect—a little over 1,000 indicated cases less than the prior year.
How Many Child Abuse Cases Go Unreported?
As many as 70 percent of child abuse cases go unreported. Before a report is made, a child typically tells as many as seven people about the abuse. When reporting each child abuse case is delayed, the likelihood of the abuse becoming more serious and even deadly increases by a large percent.
An individual must report suspected abuse or neglect to the child abuse hotline. Additionally, Illinois state law requires that mandated reporters—teachers, doctors, and social workers—report any signs of child abuse or neglect. One may call the Child Abuse Hotline at 800-25-ABUSE to report abuse.
Contact Your DuPage County Family Law Attorney
Child abuse is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. Moreover, these situations can be especially concerning when you are a parent who is sharing parenting time and suspect that the other parent’s significant other is being abusive towards your child.
If you suspect child abuse and would like to know your options regarding child custody modifications and removals, please call our skilled Wheaton family law lawyers immediately at 630-904-3033 to get the assistance you deserve. At Abear Law Offices, we understand your concerns and will help navigate your case as smoothly and painlessly as possible.