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What constitutes Mental or emotional abuse?

On Lawyer & Legal » criminal law & procedure

7,158 words with 10 Comments; publish: Sat, 08 Jan 2005 23:05:00 GMT; (800125.00, « »)

The state is: missouri

Can anyone help advise me on what can be constituted as mental or emotional abuse in the state of missouri and what can (should) be done about it.

If anyone knows of state statues or case record dealing with this form of abuse I would find it helpfull also.

Thank You

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  • 10 Comments
    • Quote:
      === Original Words ===

      ...One situation I am worried about involves teen children who have low self esteem, great fear of thier parents wrath, are afraid to make choices or display emotion and are given very little control of thier own daily choices. There is no physical or sexual abuse. I have a very close relationship with the family (parents and kids) and have a deep concern that the teens problems are a direct result of how the parents are treating them....
      This does not sound like child abuse to me...it sounds like life.

      But, assume I am wrong.

      Tell me what you would expect to government to do in this situation?

      #1; Mon, 10 Jan 2005 09:35:00 GMT
    • Sorry for the broadness of the question. I left it broad because I have a few families in mind so let me give you a few examples (all are with teens of age 14 - 17):

      1) Can it be considered abuse when a custodial parent daily makes derogatory comments to a child about there other biological parent? And furthermore does not allow the child to retreat to a private place to get away from having to hear what is being said?

      2) Can an over controlling parent be legally considered abusive? Some examples of over control are: dictating what clothing is to be worn based primarily on the parents mood or taking total control of how money (earned on through work) is spent.

      3) Is it abuse to regularly punish a child for showing emotions (anger, disagreement or disappointment) through body language toward the parent, even though the teen is attempting to hide the emotion and cooperate.

      4) Is it considered abusive when a parent regularly uses their child as the lowest standard? Comparing others to them as if they are the worst case scenario?

      #2; Sun, 09 Jan 2005 16:11:00 GMT
    • Missouri has the best (bar none) juvenile system in the nation.

      Talk to a juvenile officer about your concerns.

      They are valid.

      #3; Mon, 10 Jan 2005 11:38:00 GMT
    • Your question is too broad to be answered. Give me some specifics.

      An example:

      Suspected abuse to be reported.

      630.168. If it is alleged or suspected that any patient, resident or client who has been admitted on a voluntary or involuntary basis to a mental health facility or mental health program in which people are detained pursuant to chapter 632, RSMo, or any patient, resident or client in a residential facility, day program or specialized service operated, funded or licensed by the department is being or has been subjected to patient or resident abuse which results in physical injury, and in cases of sexual abuse, the head of the facility, program or service shall promptly notify local law enforcement authorities and cooperate fully with any investigation by them.

      #4; Sun, 09 Jan 2005 11:43:00 GMT
    • So would it be accurate to say that the only recognized forms of child abuse in Missouri are physical and sexual? And would it be accurate to say that anything verbal that does not threaten physical harm or sexual contact is legally OK?
      #5; Sun, 09 Jan 2005 20:24:00 GMT
    • 1) Can it be considered abuse when a custodial parent daily makes derogatory comments to a child about there other biological parent? No. And furthermore does not allow the child to retreat to a private place to get away from having to hear what is being said? I have no idea what this question means.

      2) Can an over controlling parent be legally considered abusive? No. Some examples of over control are: dictating what clothing is to be worn based primarily on the parents mood or taking total control of how money (earned on through work) is spent.

      3) Is it abuse to regularly punish a child for showing emotions (anger, disagreement or disappointment) through body language toward the parent, even though the teen is attempting to hide the emotion and cooperate. No.

      4) Is it considered abusive when a parent regularly uses their child as the lowest standard? No. Comparing others to them as if they are the worst case scenario? No.

      #6; Sun, 09 Jan 2005 17:18:00 GMT
    • So it is left open for a judge or an experts opinion after they investigate?

      One situation I am worried about involves teen children who have low self esteem, great fear of thier parents wrath, are afraid to make choices or display emotion and are given very little control of thier own daily choices. There is no physical or sexual abuse. I have a very close relationship with the family (parents and kids) and have a deep concern that the teens problems are a direct result of how the parents are treating them.

      #7; Mon, 10 Jan 2005 09:18:00 GMT
    • I am sorry, I am not trying to be confrontational. I am just trying to understand the system. I work with youth on a daily basis and am just trying to figure out what situations should be reported to a government agency.

      The sad thing is that in these situations there is really nothing I can think of that the government could do to improve the situations. I am not a huge advocate of the government social help and dont know that removing a child from these situations would be any less harmful than remaining in a situation they have learned to cope with.

      Thank you for your answers they have been helpful to educate me a small bit about the system. I think from what I have learned here and from other sources the best thing that can be done for these kids is to be prepared to help them cope with the transition into adulthood and to aid them in getting professional help to deal with the mental and emotional scars of their upbringing.

      #8; Mon, 10 Jan 2005 11:35:00 GMT
    • At the end of the day, there is nothing illegal about a parent being mean. Is it a great way to raise kids? Nope. But it ain't illegal. It's a shame when kids have to live through it - and worse when at least one parent doesn't see the harm it does. But ..... that's the way it is.

      The best thing to do for kids in that situation is help them find ways to avoid it. Focus on school, join sports and/or clubs, find an afterschool job. Help them learn coping techniques - yoga, meditation (reading works well, too!), etc. Encourage them to find areas in which to excel so that they have opportunities to moe forward in life.

      #9; Mon, 10 Jan 2005 11:50:00 GMT
    • Quote:
      So would it be accurate to say that the only recognized forms of child abuse in Missouri are physical and sexual?
      No, I never said anything remotely like that.

      Quote:
      And would it be accurate to say that anything verbal that does not threaten physical harm or sexual contact is legally OK?
      This is a "fact specific" question. That is a fancy legal term meaning that each verbal statement is judged independently. None of the examples you gave in your prior post sound very bad to me and so I would have to say none of them would be considered child abuse.
      #10; Mon, 10 Jan 2005 08:13:00 GMT