Presentation on theme: "Child Abuse or Neglect Investigations New Mexico Department of Public Safety, Advanced Training Bureau NMDPS Accreditation NM12-65B."— Presentation transcript:
Child Abuse or Neglect Investigations New Mexico Department of Public Safety, Advanced Training Bureau NMDPS Accreditation NM12-65B
INSTRUCTIONAL GOALS: Demonstrate an understanding and knowledge concerning the crime and social issue of child abuse, including the dynamics of why people abuse children and the results of that abuse. Law enforcement is charged with investigating these cases, alongside social service agencies.
INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES: This course is designed to provide Law Enforcement with information concerning child abuse. 1. The officer will be able to define what constitutes a child abuse. 2. The officer will be able to recognize the different types of child abuse: physical, emotional, sexual & neglect 3. The officer will have an understanding of the statutes as they related to child abuse and neglect 4. The officer will have an understanding of the basic requirements of how to conduct a child abuse investigation and the identified types of abuse 5. The officer will have an understanding of the basics of child neglect
6. The officer will have an understanding of the basics of emotional child abuse. 7. The officer will have an understanding of the basics of sexual child abuse 8. The officer will have an understanding of how to remove a child from the home and the legal requirements to make that decision. 9. The officer will have a basic understanding of the dynamics concerning pedophiles. 10. The officer will have an understanding of the reporting requirements as it pertains to child abuse 11. The officer will have an understanding of the dynamics of a SIDS death. 12. The officer will have an understanding of the steps to take when a child is reported missing and how to enter the child into the NCIC computer system.
There are four major types of child maltreatment: physical abuse, child neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse.
Physical Abuse Physical abuse is the infliction of physical injury as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, shaking, or otherwise harming a child.
Child Neglect Child neglect is characterized by failure to provide for the child's basic needs. Neglect can be physical, educational, or emotional.
Sexual Abuse Sexual abuse includes fondling a child's genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, exhibitionism, and commercial exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials.
Emotional Abuse (Psychological/Verbal Abuse/Mental Injury) Emotional abuse includes acts or omissions by the parents or other caregivers that have caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or mental disorders.
Although any of the forms of child maltreatment may be found separately, they often occur in combination. Emotional abuse is almost always present when other forms are identified.
What is the size of the problem from the latest statistical data? How Many Children Die Each Year From Child Abuse or Neglect? The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) reported an estimated 1,740 child fatalities in This translates to a rate of 2.33 children per 100,000 children in the general population. NCANDS defines "child fatality" as the death of a child caused by an injury resulting from abuse or neglect, or where abuse or neglect was a contributing factor.
Definition Child Abuse is the non-accidental injury of a child, consisting of one episode or several episodes of injuries ranging from minor to fatal.
NM Statutes Abandonment or Abuse of a Child Abandonment of Dependant Obstruction of Reporting or Investigation of Child Abuse or Neglect 32A-4-2 Definitions 32A-4-3 Duty to Report Child Abuse or Neglect 32A-4-6 Taking into Custody
Abandonment or abuse of a child A. As used in this section: (1) "child" means a person who is less than eighteen years of age; (2) "neglect" means that a child is without proper parental care and control of subsistence, education, medical or other care or control necessary for the child's well-being because of the faults or habits of the child's parents, guardian or custodian or their neglect or refusal, when able to do so, to provide them; and (3) "negligently" refers to criminal negligence and means that a person knew or should have known of the danger involved and acted with a reckless disregard for the safety or health of the child. B. Abandonment of a child consists of the parent, guardian or custodian of a child intentionally leaving or abandoning the child under circumstances whereby the child may or does suffer neglect. A person who commits abandonment of a child is guilty of a misdemeanor, unless the abandonment results in the child's death or great bodily harm, in which case the person is guilty of a second degree felony. C. A parent, guardian or custodian who leaves an infant less than ninety days old in compliance with the Safe Haven for Infants Act [ NMSA 1978] shall not be prosecuted for abandonment of a child D. Abuse of a child consists of a person knowingly, intentionally or negligently, and without justifiable cause, causing or permitting a child to be: (1) placed in a situation that may endanger the child's life or health; (2) tortured, cruelly confined or cruelly punished; or (3) exposed to the inclemency of the weather.
Abandonment or abuse of a child. Continued E. A person who commits abuse of a child that does not result in the child's death or great bodily harm is, for a first offense, guilty of a third degree felony and for second and subsequent offenses is guilty of a second degree felony. If the abuse results in great bodily harm to the child, the person is guilty of a first degree felony. F. A person who commits negligent abuse of a child that results in the death of the child is guilty of a first degree felony. G. A person who commits intentional abuse of a child twelve to eighteen years of age that results in the death of the child is guilty of a first degree felony. H. A person who commits intentional abuse of a child less than twelve years of age that results in the death of the child is guilty of a first degree felony resulting in the death of a child. I. Evidence that demonstrates that a child has been knowingly, intentionally or negligently allowed to enter or remain in a motor vehicle, building or any other premises that contains chemicals and equipment used or intended for use in the manufacture of a controlled substance shall be deemed prima facie evidence of abuse of the child. J. Evidence that demonstrates that a child has been knowingly and intentionally exposed to the use of methamphetamine shall be deemed prima facie evidence of abuse of the child. K. A person who leaves an infant less than ninety days old at a hospital may be prosecuted for abuse of the infant for actions of the person occurring before the infant was left at the hospital.
Abandonment of dependent Abandonment of dependent consists of a person having the ability and means to provide for his spouse or minor child's support and abandoning or failing to provide for the support of such dependent. Whoever commits abandonment of dependent is guilty of a fourth degree felony.
Obstruction of reporting or investigation of child abuse or neglect. Obstruction of reporting or investigation of child abuse or neglect consists of: A. knowingly inhibiting, preventing, obstructing or intimidating another from reporting, pursuant to Section NMSA 1978, child abuse or neglect, including child sexual abuse; or B. knowingly obstructing, delaying, interfering with or denying access to a law enforcement officer or child protective services social worker in the investigation of a report of child abuse or sexual abuse. Whoever commits obstruction of reporting or investigation of child abuse or neglect is guilty of a misdemeanor.
32A-4-2 Definitions Review Statutory Definitions as used in the Abuse and Neglect Act; sections A – I as contained within the NM Criminal Code or contained in the lesson plan.
32A-4-3. Duty to report child abuse and child neglect; responsibility to investigate child abuse or neglect; penalty. Review Statutory elements of this offense in the NM Criminal Code, or as contained within the lesson plan.
32A-4-6. Taking into custody; penalty Review Statutory elements of this offense in the NM Criminal Code, or as contained within the lesson plan.
2011 Senate Bill #77 RELATING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT; PROVIDING FOR CHILD ABUSE INCIDENT TRAINING FOR POLICE OFFICERS. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO: SECTION 1. A new section of the Law Enforcement Training Act is enacted to read: "CHILD ABUSE INCIDENT TRAINING.--Child abuse incident training shall be included in the curriculum of each basic law enforcement training class. Child abuse incident training shall be included as a component of in-service training each year for certified police officers." SECTION 2. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2011.
Elements of Abuse Abuse most often occurs in the home. Three elements are involved to create an abusive environment: 1) the abuser 2) the abused 3) a crisis.
Abuser Usually the parent or caretaker Perpetrators include: – mothers – fathers – boyfriends – stepfathers – babysitters, ….etc.
Characteristics of Abusers History of having been abused themselves. (explain the cycle of abuse) Tend to keep to themselves Move from place to place Tend to be young Alcohol/Drug abuse Mate knows about the abuse, ignores or even participates in it.
The Abused The child victim. Children under two are most at risk. Non-verbal and non- ambulatory. Handicapped children at high risk. Adopted children or reconstituted families (yours, mine & ours) Sickly, unattractive, unwanted child at risk.
The Crisis The factor that sets the abusive parent in motion causing them to lose control and start the abuse. Parent overreacts, usually as a result of stresses. ANYTHING CAN BE A CRISIS
Types of Abuse – Physical – Emotional – Sexual – Neglect
There are a number of indicators or types of physical abuse and the assessment of the injuries. Discuss the elements contained within the lesson plan.
Behavioral Indicators There are a number of indicators or types of behavioral abuse and the manifestation of the indicators. Discuss the elements contained within the lesson plan.
Investigation – Level of response depends upon the following: – Nature of the call (in-progress vs. old injury) – Age of the child(ren) or special condition (e.g., developmentally disabled) – Imminent danger to child without intervention – Immediate need for medical attention – Reliability and authenticity of reporting party. – History of prior reports – Note: The need for a warrantless entry should be determined using the above criteria.
Evidence Collection – Photographs of the victim and/or the crime scene. Photographs of bruises should be taken several days apart to document age and severity. – Medical information – Instruments/weapons that caused the injury – Statements of victim(s) witness/parents – Documentation of observations – Note: The most common instrument of abuse are hands and feet.
Child Neglect Child Neglect defined: Any Child … – who has been abandoned by his parents, guardians, custodians or – Who is without proper parental care, control, subsistence, education, medical or other care necessary for well being or – Whose parent, guardian or custodian is unable to discharge responsibilities for the child or – Who has been placed for care or adoption in violation of law. – State statute: (listed earlier)
Abuse = action against a child Neglect = lack of action for the child
Child neglect indicators There are a number of indicators or types of Child Neglect and the manifestation of the indicators. Discuss the elements contained within the lesson plan.
It is important to distinguish between neglect and poverty or poor parenting skills. While some of these conditions may exist in the home environment, it is the extreme or persistent presence of these factors that indicates some degree of neglect.
Emotional Abuse/Deprivation There are a number of indicators or types of Child Emotional Abuse/Deprivation and the manifestation of the indicators. Discuss the elements contained within the lesson plan.
Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of Children Sexual Abuse is described as contact with a child where the child is being used for sexual stimulation of the other person. Sexual abuse can be committed by a person of any age. The abuser is often older than the victim and/or in a position of authority over the child.
30-6A-3. Sexual exploitation of children Review Statutory elements as contained within the NM Criminal Code or contained in the lesson plan.
Enticement of Child Enticement of child consists of: A. enticing, persuading or attempting to persuade a child under the age of sixteen years to enter any vehicle, building, room or secluded place with intent to commit an act which would constitute a crime under Article 9 [ to NMSA 1978] of the Criminal Code; or B. having possession of a child under the age of sixteen years in any vehicle, building, room or secluded place with intent to commit an act which would constitute a crime under Article 9 of the Criminal Code. Whoever commits enticement of child is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Criminal Sexual Contact of a Minor Review Statutory elements as contained within the NM Criminal Code or contained in the lesson plan.
Criminal Sexual Penetration. Review Statutory elements as contained within the NM Criminal Code or contained in the lesson plan.
Incest Incest consists of knowingly intermarrying or having sexual intercourse with persons within the following degrees of consanguinity: parents and children including grandparents and grandchildren of every degree, brothers and sisters of the half as well as of the whole blood, uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews. Whoever commits incest is guilty of a third degree felony.
Sexual Abuse Indicators: Sexual abuse of a child may surface through a broad range of physical, behavioral, and social symptoms
– Historical indicators: Child reports sexual activities to a friend, classmate, teacher, friend’s mother, or other trusted adult. The disclosure may be direct or indirect, ex. “ I know somebody”; “what would you do if?”; “I heard something about somebody.” It is not uncommon for the disclosure to be delayed.
– Physical Indicators: Child wears torn, stained, or bloody underclothing. Difficulty in walking or sitting Pain in genital area Bruises or bleeding in vaginal or anal areas Venereal disease, especially in pre-teens Pregnancy
– Sexual behavioral indicators of children: Detailed and age-inappropriate understanding of sexual behavior (especially by younger children) Inappropriate, unusual or aggressive sexual behavior with peers or toys Excessive / compulsive masturbation Unusually seductive with classmates, teachers, and other adults. Prostitution or excessive promiscuity Excessive concern about homosexuality, especially in boys.
– Behavioral indicators in younger children: Frequent bathing School problems or significant change in school performance (attitude and grades) Running away from home Seductive behavior Sleeping disturbances, ex. Nightmares, fearful about falling asleep. Fecal soiling
Behavioral indicators in older children and adolescents Withdrawal Poor hygiene or excessive bathing Poor peer relations and social skills, inability to make friends. Acting out, runaway, aggressive or delinquent behavior Alcohol or drug abuse School problems, frequent absences, sudden drop in school performance Refusal to dress for physical education Fearful of showers / restrooms Fearful of home life, ex. Arrives at school early or leaves late. Crying without provocation Fire setting Suicide attempt or other self-destructive behavior
Offender Indicators: Intra-familial- Father or Father Figure Overprotective / jealous Strict disciplinarian Secretive / anxiety ridden Low self esteem Substance abuse
Mother or Mother Figure There are instances of intra-familial sexual abuse by females. However, little is known about behavioral indicators, family dynamics and characteristics.
Family Indicators Isolation Overcrowding in the home in sleeping arrangements Absence of one parent
Protective Custody Assessment in Child Abuse The officer should determine the need for protective custody of the victim(s), siblings, and others by taking into consideration the following factors: – Need for medical care – Imminent danger of continued abuse, intimidation or retaliation – Whether non-offending parent is appropriately supportive and protective of the child. Be careful here. – Whether physical environment poses an immediate threat to the child’s health and safety – History of prior offenses or allegations of physical or sexual abuse – Parent or guardian capable of or willing to exercise care and control over the child.
Police officers may remove children from the home based on the circumstances. Children, Youth and Family workers may request the children be removed. The final decision rests with the police. You must maintain a working relationship with CYFD because they will be able to assist you in the investigation of the criminal offense and they will become instrumental in placing the child in a temporary safe environment.
Pedophiles Officers also need to understand the dynamics of a pedophile. Not all offenders in child sexual abuse cases are pedophiles. There are a number of indicators of a pedophile and the manifestation of the indicators. Discuss the elements contained within the lesson plan.
Reporting Child Abuse The reporting requirements: While everyone should report suspected child abuse and neglect, State Statute 32A-4-3 (as already discussed)provides that it is a crime for certain professionals and laypersons who have a special working relationship or contact with children may not report suspected abuse to the proper authorities. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor. This penalty ensures that those required to do so will report all suspected incidents of child abuse immediately to the appropriate agencies.
– Child abuse and neglect investigations are a joint responsibility of the police and Children, Youth & Family worker. Under law, any person reporting an instance of alleged neglect or abuse is presumed to be acting In good faith and is immune from liability unless acting maliciously or in bad faith.
Protective custody: A child may be taken into custody by a law enforcement officer when the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a child is suffering from illness or injury, or has been abandoned, or is in danger from the child’s surroundings, parents are hiding the child or is in need of medical attention. 32A-4-6.
Police liability for failing to insure the protection of the child If an officer negligently fails to place an endangered child in protective custody, that officer may be civilly liable for damages if the child suffers further injuries. Whenever there is doubt as to the need for protective custody, the decision should be made in favor of protective custody if there is evidence to support it.
An officer should never leave the abused or neglected child with neighbors or friends of the child’s family in situations where protective custody is required. The presence of siblings in the home should be considered when determining protective custody. When one child victim is removed, the abusing parent or caretaker may abuse another child. While only one child may have been identified, others may also be subject to abuse.
Victim Interview – Every effort should be made to minimize the number of interviews with the child victim. Techniques to consider may include: – Coordination of the investigation with Children, Youth & Family Department so that both agencies can be present during interviews. – Consultation with the district attorney’s office – Use of audio and/or video recordings. If your community has access to a “Safe House” environment, it becomes a great asset for videotaping. – Always conduct a thorough and well documented interview.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) SIDS, commonly known as “crib death” or “cot death” is the number one cause of death in infants between one month and one year of age. About 6500 babies die of SIDS every year in the United States. SIDS cannot be predicted or prevented, even by a physician. It almost always occurs during sleep. The typical SIDE case involves an apparently health infant, usually between the ages of 4 weeks and 7 months, who has suddenly died. No illness has been present; although the baby may have had signs of a slight cold. There is no indication that the baby struggled or cried out while dying.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) The only way SIDS can be conclusively diagnosed is by an autopsy. Diagnosis is made only after all other causes of death have been ruled out. You as a first responder can only suspect SIDS as the cause of death. As a first responder, you need to know some of the identifying features characteristic of the SIDS victim as opposed to an abused child. The following table is a list of the general physical characteristics of each.
SIDS Things to look for and note: – Physical appearance of the baby – Position of baby in crib, may account for marks on child’s head or body. – Physical appearance of crib – Appearance of room/house – Behaviors of persons present.
What is the role of the police officer – Initiate CPR efforts if the infant is not obviously dead. – Conduct an “investigation” that will help determine the cause of death. – Provide leadership and protection to the SIDS family – Be in command of your own feelings. This can be difficult because of your own children, but be professional and act in a calm, efficient manner, exhibiting kind concern. – Your actions can have a positive impact on the grieving family.
Questions? We would strongly recommend you develop a solid working relationship with your regions CYFD case workers, safe houses, victims advocates, child psychologists or other regional service providers and your District Attorney’s Office prior to an incident so everyone is on the same page! Remember, the child's welfare is our primary concern in these cases!!