When does neglect become abuse? (Presentation and plenary discussion first delivered at the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal’s annual training conference in October)


By Martin Seaward

1) Intro:

a) Q: When does neglect become abuse?

i) E.g. the mother who abandons her children for a week in Benidorm, leaving them with a fridge full of food and the TV controls (when harm ensues)?
ii) E.g. Not taking sick child to the doctor (when condition avoidably deteriorates)?
iii) E.g. starving a child? Or leaving them out in the cold as a punishment?
A: Where child is put in fear of immediate physical harm = CoV

b) This tribunal is at the forefront of compensating victims of child abuse; burden lies heavily on us to train appropriately and then to apply our special skills and knowledge to these cases. Cite Prof. Temkin, letter to the Times, 27/09/12 re Rotherham scandal:

“…Over the past 50 years, huge strides have been made in reforming the way that victims of sexual assault are treated by the criminal justice system. Training programmes for criminal justice personnel … have been very much part of this process … Those who have suffered so grievously and been let down by our society deserve to be compensated…”

Download the full article here:2012-november-martin-seaward-child-cruelty.pdf