@HopefulK I get what you are saying. And if it was an older child who was somewhat capable of fending for themselves, or self-settling, then I would agree that it may not be viewed as a form of abuse.
However, for such a young child, neglect and abuse is seen as very very similar. The case is investigated the same, and the same procedures are put in place.
Also, from a strictly legal sense (your words) it does fall under the same banner. From a prosecuting sense, it could be argued as "just" neglect.
Getting from "the law is X" to "you will be prosecuted for Y" are different things.
It's a very very confusing subject. But, in a legally enforceable manner, neglect is a form of abuse. I wouldn't say it is abuse (from personal experience working on cases), but it is a part of the whole.
What has to be remembered is that social services will NOT look at anything like this from the side of the adult. They will look at it from the side of the child. Even a single minute is a hugely long time for a child younger than 2 (especially one without communication skills). Adults have completely different time concepts to children. Wait is a foreign concept to them.
So social services can only view the child's side, as they are their advocate.
ETA: I'm sorry if you felt I was saying your opinion didn't matter. That wasn't what I meant at all.
From a purely legal stand (and when someone says the law says X there really is no arguing with it via viewpoints, if that is in fact the law) opinions don't matter.
If my post came across as me saying that your opinion didn't matter, that was probably because, to me, it felt like you were saying "well the law is wrong and who cares" by saying "I don't think it is neglect" as a response to "that's the law"...
Ah...the joys of text as a form of communication.
Last edited by DT75; 07-02-2015 at 17:15.
I guess it felt like some people were pretty quick to cry "abuse"... I know how hard it is to ask for help at a time when you're feeling like you've lost control, especially if you're afraid of being judged. I would hate for someone here who was struggling to read those things and be afraid to reach out.
It is too dangerous (not just for the child, but for the adult- in a legal sense) to do otherwise.
Of course, everyone makes mistakes. This is why I am very careful with using the word 'abuse'. Even in what seems a clear-cut case, there is always more to it.
My point was to stress that this was neglect. Which, while serious, has room for judgement errors. I wouldn't call the OP's friend neglectful, but I would say it was a case of neglect.
It is hard to ask for advice for almost everything. But when it comes to kids and mental health, there is such a backlash that can happen, that I am not surprised people are afraid to reach out.
I feel the best thing that came out of this scenario, was that the OP knew others were on the same page, and so she felt supported (I am assuming here OP) in talking to her friend. Who, hopefully, will be more open to asking for help if needed. Or, at least, has realised that what she did was very serious- which she may well have known anyway and it didn't just click IYKWIM?
If the OP had marched over to her friends house and started accusing her of abuse and threatening to report her, I'm sure the outcome would have been a lot different, and not necessarily to the benefit of the child either.
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