Child abuse and neglect occur in every country, often in the most hidden places — homes, schools and even online. UNICEF works to connect children to vital social services and fair justice systems — especially those who need it most: children on the move, those living alone, those affected by conflict or disaster, and those facing commercial sexual exploitation, child labour, early marriage and female genital mutilation.
Child support is a legal obligation to provide financial support for the children of a separated or divorced parent. The amount of child support is determined by a court, typically through the use of a complex formula that considers the parents’ incomes and the time each spends with the children. A judge may also add on other expenses, such as a child’s educational needs or extracurricular activities, to the overall child-support calculation. In some countries, such as the United States, obligors (the person paying child support) are required to account for how they spend their child-support payments. Critics of this system argue that the payee is being forced to buy things for the children with child-support money, rather than letting them save those funds for their own personal expenses.
In some countries, family courts are empowered to order the removal of a child from its home if the court believes that a child is in danger of being killed or seriously harmed. In addition to removing the child from its home, the court may also order the parents to undergo a psychological evaluation and treatment, and in some cases, the child can be placed into foster care. Some countries have laws requiring anyone who suspects child abuse to report it to local, county or state authorities. This includes teachers, police officers, health workers, clergy and camp counselors. In 20 states, any person who suspects abuse is required to call a crisis hotline or find the agency’s number in the blue government pages of a telephone directory.
Bullying is an ongoing problem for children around the world, including in the United States. This type of violence occurs when a child is verbally or physically attacked by someone they know or by strangers on the Internet, in real life or in school. It can include teasing, physical assault, or harassment based on gender, race, religion or weight. In some cases, it can lead to suicide.
It is important to teach children about cyberbullying and to discuss the consequences of posting sexy images or videos of themselves online with their parents. It is also important to encourage kids to think carefully about their social media and gaming profiles, making sure they have strong passwords and that they are not sharing too much information. Finally, it is critical to educate young people to be alert for sextortion, an online crime that involves coercing a child into producing sexually explicit images or videos through manipulation, gifts or threats. The best way to protect children from violence and other exploitation is to prevent it in the first place. If you need the help of a family law attorney in Miami, click here.