Indicators of Abuse.

Regrettably, in family law instances of child abuse are ever-present. The Mississippi Department of Human services, along with law enforcement and the Courts are tasked with dealing with these critical circumstances.

The following are instances and indicators of abuse.

Emotional/Verbal Abuse is anything said or done that is hurtful or threatening to a child and is the most difficult form of maltreatment to identify:

  • Name calling; “You’re stupid.”
  • Belittling; “I wish you were never born.”
  • Destroying child’s possessions or harming pets.
  • Threatens to harm child or people they care about; “I’m going to choke you,” or “I’ll hurt your sister.”
  • Locking a child in a closet or box.
  • Rejecting a child.
  • Isolating a child.

Sexual Abuse is any inappropriate touching by a friend, family member, anyone having on-going contact and/or a stranger, such as:

  • Touching a child’s genital area.
  • Any type of penetration of a child.
  • Allowing a child to view or participate in pornography.
  • Prostitution, selling your child for money, drugs, etc.
  • Forcing a child to perform oral sex acts.
  • Masturbating in front of a child.
  • Having sex in front of a child.
  • Touching a Child’s genital area.

Physical Abuse is any type of contact that results in bodily harm such as bruising, abrasions, broken bones, internal injuries, burning, missing teeth and skeletal injuries:

  • Hitting or slapping a child with an extension cord, hands, belts, fists, broom handles, brushes, etc.
  • Putting child into hot water.
  • Cutting the child with a knife or any other sharp object.
  • Shaking or twisting arms or legs, yanking a child by the arm.
  • Putting tape over a child’s mouth.
  • Tying a child up with rope or cord.
  • Throwing a child across a room or down the stairs.

Neglect means not meeting the basic needs of the child and is the most common form of maltreatment.

  • Medical – not giving a child life-sustaining medicines, over medicating, not obtaining special treatment devices deemed necessary by a physician.
  • Supervision – leaving child/children unattended and leaving child/children in the care of other children too young to protect them (depending upon the maturity of the child).
  • Clothing and good hygiene – dressing children inadequately for weather, persistent skin disorders resulting from improper hygiene.
  • Nutrition – lack of sufficient quantity or quality of food, letting a child consistently complain of hunger and allowing the child to rummage for food.
  • Shelter – having structurally unsafe housing, inadequate heating, and unsanitary housing conditions.

Call 800-222-8000 or 601-432-4570 to report abuse, neglect or exploitation of a child in Mississippi.

Reports can also be made online at https://www.msabusehotline.mdhs.ms.gov

Division of Family & Children’s Services
800-345-6347 | 601-359-4999

Matthew Thompson is a Child Custody Attorney in Mississippi.

Follow the blog: #BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm You may also contact Matthew with your family law matter or question at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

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