A single mother may be reluctant to introduce a new man into her child's life due to concerns about the child's emotional development. But as any Texas domestic violence attorney knows, she may also be concerned about the safety of her child.
An East Texas man is being charged with felony injury to a child, and may face additional charges. The man is the fiancé of the child's mother. The mother left the 2-year-old child in the man's care while she went to run an errand. When she returned, she found her child unconscious, and called 911. The child was taken to a Dallas hospital where it was discovered that the child was physically abused. This child is making progress in the hospital, and when she it well enough to be released, she will go into the custody of Child Protective Services as the investigation continues.
State laws define child abuse differently, but these definitions usually encompass physical abuse, mental abuse, neglect and sexual abuse or exploitation. In many states, when child abuse suspected, and it involves someone other than the child's parent or legal guardian, the investigation is undertaken by law enforcement agencies. After an investigation is completed, if the authorities determine that there was child abuse, the agency will intervene. Intervention can range from educational classes for the parents, to temporary foster care for the child, to court ordered termination of parental rights.
Children who are the victims of abuse may experience relationship problems in the future, such as lack of trust of adults, or depression and anxiety. Family members and those who spend time with children, such as teachers, should take note of any changes in behavior or unexplained injuries, and report suspected child abuse to the relevant authorities.
Source: KLTV.com, "Investigator: Child abuse suspect could face more charges," Michael Thompson and Melanie Torre, Nov. 27, 2012