The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System reported 1760 child fatalities in 2012, a rate of 20 deaths/100,000 children. Of these, physical abuse or multiple forms of maltreatment constituted approximately 45% of fatalities. Forty-four percent were infants younger than 1 year, whereas 77% were less than 4 years old. (Source: Child abuse and neglect fatalities: The Children’s Bureau: Child Welfare Information Gateway)
There are 3.6 million cases of child abuse reported every year in the U.S. It is currently estimated that for every incident of abuse or neglect that’s reported, two incidents will not be reported. Child abuse occurs across all income and cultural levels. Child neglect, which is the most widespread form of child abuse, makes up more than 59% of abuse cases.
(Source: Child Protect Children’s Advocacy Center)
Conversely, a recent national survey conducted by YouGov revealed that 8% of Americans have been falsely accused of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, etc.
Women have been the recipients of more false reports than men, often in conjunction with child custody cases. (Source: Center for Prosecutor Integrity)
In legal terms, child abuse is defined as inflicting harm or permitting harm to be inflicted on a child or placing a child in a position in which they have a substantial risk of being injured.
Often the State’s Attorney will use the treating physician as their expert in court, which is a sensible and legitimate use of resources. These physicians are typically well trained and have seen the child in real time and overseen the assessment of injuries and the in-hospital care.
However, if you are the attorney defending the accused you may need education about the injuries, or need to have specific questions answered. Perhaps you may even need to know the veracity of the child abuse report. You may have questions about investigative information that may not be included in the medical record. Pediatric Medical Experts is here to assist you and help get these areas reviewed.
We will conduct a thorough child abuse case review to help determine if there is any evidence of abuse. We assess and provide a second opinion. Whether for the State or the accused our goal is to provide an objective, fair assessment of the facts. Often all the facts are not available immediately, our review will include an assessment of all the facts as well as a review of the current literature.
The Child Abuse Case Review Assessment Includes all of the Following:
- Educate the attorneys on the mechanisms of injury.
- Assess the accuracy of the initial opinion.
- Assess if the story and the injury match.
- Provide an explanation for why they do or do not match.
Dr. Bartholomew and her colleagues have spent 35+ years assessing abusive injuries for defendants or the State and are intimately familiar with this topic.