Violence or abuse that occurs between people who are related or who are in close relationships is often termed a domestic dispute. Although it is often thought of as only a problem between individuals in intimate relationships, in New York the laws regarding domestic disputes also extend to family members related by blood. This can mean that abuse committed by a parent toward their child is punishable under the domestic violence statutes of the state.
Domestic violence can take on many forms under the laws of the state. It may occur as menacing behavior or stalking, assault or strangulation. When a parent commits such actions against their child the child may be caught in a difficult situation of having to live with their aggressor.
Unlike an adult who may choose to leave a relationship, a child is generally under the custody of their parent until they reach adulthood. If their parents are married then they may be a victim along with one of their parents; if their parents are divorced then they may experience the abuse only when they are with their aggressive parent.
In order to protect a child from domestic violence several important steps may be taken. Abuse of this nature should be reported to authorities so that the aggressor may be removed from the child’s life. If the child sees the parent based on a custodial or visitation schedule then changes may be made to that arrangement to prevent them from having to spend time with their abuser. It is important for families and victims suffering from domestic violence and abuse to remember that family law attorneys are resources for them. Through legal options many abuse victims can find relief and safety from the harm inflicted by their abusers.