San Diego Children's Rights Lawyer

Children are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. It is up to adults to make sure they are not exploited, and that they are kept protected and safe. Children have the right to live free of sexual or physical abuse, neglect, or bullying. For some children, the only voice they have speaking on their behalf is the voice of a San Diego personal injury lawyer.

At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we have lawyers who are dedicated to seeking out injustices suffered by children, advocating on their behalf, and seeking better outcomes. If you are aware that a child is suffering from a violation of their rights, or of a situation affecting the health and well-being of children generally in San Diego, the Gomez Trial Attorneys are here to help. Contact our San Diego children’s rights lawyers today for a free case evaluation. With lawyers who carry the distinction of being named Super Lawyers and Top Lawyers in their field, we have the experience to help those who are in need.

Gomez Trial Attorneys Bring Experience

The children’s rights lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys are actively involved in advocating for and protecting the rights of children in California and across the country.

Just a few examples of the ways we are involved in these issues include:

  • Promotion and support of Human Trafficking Awareness Month and Child Abuse Protection Month;
  • Analysis of reports and studies related to bullying and cyberbullying;
  • Advocacy for a minor assaulted by an assigned aide on a school bus; and
  • Public statements regarding an arrest of a teacher for suspicion of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor.

The above activities represent the work our attorneys have performed and the results we’ve achieved with respect to children’s rights. We maintain the child’s best interests at the center of our strategy with every client. We can bring our broad range of resources and experience to your case to craft a strategy for recovery for the benefit of your child.

Types of Children’s Rights Cases

Children are the victims of an unfortunately broad spectrum of injuries and violations of their rights. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we are prepared to handle the entire spectrum of children’s rights cases. Below are some scenarios that generally require the assistance of a children’s rights lawyer to help preserve the well-being of the child.

Child Trafficking

While it is hard to believe that human beings can still be bought and sold, it is an unfortunate fact that human trafficking remains a problem in the United States. While there are elaborate definitions of human trafficking, at its simplest it is a form of modern slavery, where individuals are recruited or coerced into commercial sexual exploitation or labor. It is all too common for children to be the victims of human trafficking.

The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally and that 25 percent of these victims are children. The human trafficking industry is a $150 billion worldwide industry. Advocate groups estimate that 46 children are taken into child trafficking every day in the United States.

Any sign that human traffickers are victimizing a child can prove difficult to spot. Common signs include a disheveled or age or climate inappropriate clothing. Visible tattoos that could indicate gang affiliation and signs of abuse are also red flags. The child may avoid eye contact, act fearful of adults, or express aggression toward people in positions of authority. If you often witness the child with an adult who appears to be controlling their communication or interpreting for them, this could also be a sign of a problem. Any sudden changes in the child’s life, such as a sudden removal from school, could also indicate something is amiss.

If you suspect a child is a victim of human trafficking, it is important to immediately report your suspicions. There are many resources for reporting, including the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Once you have reported the potential instance of trafficking, or if you have confirmed that trafficking has occurred, you should consult with a lawyer to understand your obligations and options for recovery.

Child Abuse

Any action that puts a child’s emotional or physical health and development in danger is categorized as child abuse. Common categories of child abuse are physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse. Children deserve to be protected from abuse and, in the unfortunate circumstances where abuse occurs, to be made whole to the greatest extent possible for the trauma they have suffered.

Examples of physical child abuse include:

  • Shaking;
  • Hitting;
  • Kicking;
  • Spanking;
  • Burning;
  • Pinching; or
  • Any other non-accidental bodily harm

Emotional abuse is not always as obvious as physical abuse, but is equally or more detrimental. Emotional abuse could consist of:

  • Vulgar language;
  • Yelling, shouting, or other aggressive acts;
  • Name calling;
  • Belittling; or
  • Degrading the child

As its name implies, any sexual act that occurs between an adult and child is sexual abuse. This encompasses much more than intercourse, and could include:

  • Commission of sexual acts with a child;
  • Forcing the child to watch or participate in sexual videos, games, or pictures;
  • Exhibitionism by the adult; and
  • Any other lewd behavior

Sexual abuse can be less overt than whats listed above and trying to determine what constitutes as sexual abuse can be difficult so if your questioning some behavior then speak with an attorney to discuss your next move.

A caretaker could also fail to act in ways that would be considered abuse or neglect of the child, such as failure to provide adequate food or clothing, failure to properly supervise the child, unwillingness or inability to provide safe housing, and lack of proper medical care. While not as drastic or obvious as abuse, this neglect can have extremely detrimental and long term effects on the life of the child.

The numbers around reported child abuse are staggering. According to the Child Maltreatment survey by the Department of Health and Human Services, there are up to 7.5 million children involved in child abuse reports, and the highest rate of abuse is against children who are under the age of one. An estimated 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect in 2017, and nearly 72 percent of those victims were under the age of three.

The statistics around child abuse are truly heart-wrenching. The best way to put a dent in these numbers is to report any incidents of suspected child abuse. If you or your child has been abused, it is important to take action against the abuser to prevent them from harming other children in the future.

While child abuse may seem like a straightforward issue, it is legally complex. First, you must understand the difference between criminal and civil charges. You must also analyze the line between acceptable punishment or conduct and actual child abuse. The experienced children’s rights attorneys at our firm can help you understand your options.

Bullying

As the influence of social media expands, so does the opportunity for bullying. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define bullying as any unwanted aggressive behavior by another youth or group of youths, who are not siblings or dating partners, that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated.

California law has a similar definition of bullying, but details some reasonably predictable effects that would result from the actions, including placing a student in fear of harm, substantial physical or mental health effects, interference with academic performance, or interference with the student’s ability to benefit from school services.

Many actions can constitute bullying, but common conduct includes:

  • Physical abuse;
  • Harassment;
  • Name calling or other verbal abuse;
  • Group intimidation;
  • Social media harassment or cyber-bullying;
  • Hazing; and
  • Sexual intimidation or humiliation

Approximately 20 percent—or one out of every five—of students aged 12-18 have experienced bullying, and 15 percent of this bullying was reported to be online or by text and would be considered cyberbullying. The rate of cyber-bullying nearly doubled between 2007 and 2016. Only about 20-30 percent of students who are bullied report the bullying to an adult. When you analyze the rate of bullying for certain populations, the rates increase. For example, over 74 percent of LGBT students report being verbally bullied, and over 36 percent report being physically bullied.

While there is no federal anti-bullying law, most states have passed state-level anti-bullying legislation. California’s statutes address bullying. If you believe that your child is suffering from bullying that the school or other officials are not appropriately handling, you can work with one of our children’s rights attorneys to protect your child.

Who Is Responsible?

Pursuing a responsible party when there have been violations of any children’s rights can be a very complicated process. Children’s basic rights are often protected through federal and state laws, and individuals have duties of care to the children. Because of these protections, it is necessary to understand who may have violated a standard of care.

For example, teachers are mandatory reporters for suspected child abuse. If you discover that a teacher failed to report clear signs of child abuse, there may be necessary disciplinary reactions and recovery from that particular teacher. An attorney can work with you to help you understand what laws may be implicated by the harm you or your child has suffered.

Understanding Damages

Like most things involving children’s rights, recovering damages for any injury can be quite complicated, and must be considered in relation to the variety of federal and state laws that may be implicated. That said, you or your child may have suffered significant harm due to the neglect, intentional act, or negligence of another party. Damages that might be considered in connection with a children’s rights violation include:

  • Medical expenses: Depending on the circumstances of the violation of rights, the child may have suffered an injury. If that is the case, they may be facing significant current and future medical expenses. These could include doctors’ and hospital bills and ongoing rehabilitation.
  • Damage to property: If your child is a victim of bullying, this could include destruction or damage of the child’s belongings. Any damaged property may need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Pain and suffering and emotional distress: Ongoing pain and suffering and emotional distress are distressingly common when there has been a violation of children’s rights. Anything that disrupts the safety and security of a child’s perception of the world is likely to have ongoing mental health implications. This may include anxiety, depression, PTSD, or conduct disorders. For example, students who experience bullying are at an increased risk for poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety, depression, and suicide attempts.

Our attorneys’ first priority will be to ensure the physical and mental safety of the child, but we also understand that financial compensation will help relieve some of the burdens of any abuse the child has suffered.

Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys for Help

Attorney John Gomez

Children Right’s Lawyer, John Gomez

Gomez Trial Attorneys are consistently named a top law firm by U.S. News and World Report, and our attorneys are regularly named Super Lawyers and Lawyer of the Year. Our San Diego children’s rights attorneys understand the critical and sensitive nature of any case involving children’s rights. Our team can bring the experience and resources needed to understand the complex web of laws surrounding children’s rights, and the complicated path to recovery. We will approach your case with compassion and competence to support you throughout the process.

While finding a qualified San Diego children’s rights lawyer may feel like it adds to the stress of your situation, our goal is to make the path to recovery as smooth as possible. For this reason, we don’t require payment of any attorney fees unless we can secure a recovery for you or your child. Additionally, we offer a free confidential case evaluation to help determine the details of your case. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today at (619) 237-3490 or through our website to schedule your free case evaluation.


Gomez Trial Attorneys
655 West Broadway, Suite 1700
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619)-237-3490
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