Emotional Abuse & Neglect Lawyers in Dallas
Emotional abuse and neglect are some of the most common forms of child abuse and can include neglecting, isolating, rejecting, terrorizing, verbally assaulting, exploiting or corrupting. According to a national expert on emotional abuse, this treatment is so dangerous because it "is the persistent, chronic pattern that 'erodes and corrodes' a child." In the words of another professional, "Emotional abuse is an assault on the child's psyche, just as physical abuse is an assault on the child's body." Examples of emotional abuse can include any of the following:
- Penalizing a child for normal behavior
- Verbal abuse
- Excessive demands on a child's performance
- Penalizing children for positive self-esteem
- Discouraging caregiver-infant attachment
- Penalizing children for using interpersonal skills
- Inability to provide affection
- Inability to provide stimulation for a child
- Frequently exposing children to family violence
Neglect is the most common form of child abuse, accounting for more than 78% of child abuse claims. It has also been shown that neglect can reap worse long-term effects than even sexual abuse. The director of one children's welfare organization asserts that years of neglect can hurt a child worse than a punch, slap or sexual encounter. Neglect can occur in any family home situation- it has a wide range of appearances from the mom who leaves her kids for days on end with a stranger to the dad who is a workaholic and never at home with his kids. In 2007, 59% of substantiated reports were classified as neglect cases. Neglect often includes the following:
- Not providing clothing
- Not providing shelter
- Not providing medical care
- Not providing nutrition
- Not providing your children with an education'
- Repeatedly exposing children to dangerous situations
Child neglect could be occurring more often than society realizes as it, "…is difficult to identify as it does not leave visible marks or scars like physical and sexual abuse can; therefore, estimates of neglect cases are much higher than official reports reflect."
How can you know if your child is being emotionally abused?
Behaviors that an emotionally abused child often displays includes dramatic behavioral changes, aggressiveness, bedwetting or loss of bowel control, poor relationships with peers, unusual fears, lack of self-confidence, inability to react with emotion, behavior that is more mature or immature for a child's age, uncooperativeness, destructive or antisocial behavior. While any child can display these signs, experts say the key to look for is a change in pattern of these behaviors (for instance if your child suddenly begins wetting their bed a lot, or loses their sunny disposition, etc.).
Besides parents, other individuals that can be guilty of neglect or the emotional abuse of a child include relatives, neighbors, teachers, coaches, pastors, social workers and so forth. How can you press charges after you child has been emotionally abused? First, identify the injuries that resulted from the abuse- for instance, anxiety, stress or illness. Next, determine how you can show that the emotional abuse is directly linked with the injuries that resulted. Did verbal degradation, emotional manipulation, verbal threats or forced isolation occur? You must show that this behavior was "so outrageous and unreasonable as to defy law." Finally, it is important that you file within the statute of limitations time period. It is recommended that you:
- Type up a personal injury complaint
- Record each incidence of emotional abuse
- Write down any evidence that shows "willful infliction" of emotional distress
- File your claim with the county clerk's office
Because emotional abuse tends to leave more harsh consequences than even physical or sexual abuse, it is important that you act quickly to receive the damages you need to move forward, and to begin the healing process your child and family needs. Zinda Law Group has won the prestigious award Texas SuperLawyers®, is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and has gained several positive testimonials from past clients. Call the firm today to fight for the compensation you need and to secure the aggressive legal services of a personal injury attorney that you want on your side!