Domestic Violence/Failure to report

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Question
Hello,

My 12 year old child's stepfather is a Deputy Sheriff in Virginia.  He witnessed my daughter being hit in the face by her mother but did not report it and in fact blocked my daughter from calling me (knowing that I would report it).  Is this criminal?  Who would I contact to file a complaint?

Chris

Answer
Hi Chris,

Here is the website to report abuse in Virginia and legal requirements. Good luck!

http://www.dss.virginia.gov/about/abuse.html
About the Hotline

The Virginia Department of Social Services operates a statewide Child Protective Services (CPS) Hotline 24/7 to support local departments of social services by receiving reports of child abuse and neglect and referring them to the appropriate local department of social services. The CPS Hotline is staffed by trained social workers.

Anyone can report suspected child abuse or neglect to a local department of social services or to the CPS Hotline. Callers will be asked to provide as much information as possible about the child, the alleged abuser and the incident. You are not required to give your name when you make the report, but if you do identify yourself, the local department of social services will be able to contact you for further information if needed and will be able to inform you of actions that were taken.

Legal Requirements to Report
Child Abuse and Adult Abuse

Child Abuse
Report Child Abuse/Neglect to Child Protective Services (CPS)
•   In Virginia: (800) 552-7096
•   Out-of-state: (804) 786-8536
•   Hearing-impaired: (800) 828-1120
The Virginia Department of Social Services operates a CPS Hotline 24/7 to support local departments of social services by receiving reports of child abuse and neglect and referring them to the appropriate local department of social services. The CPS Hotline is staffed by trained social workers.
Code of Virginia requires reporting of child abuse as follows:  
§ 63.2-1509. (Effective until March 31, 2009) Physicians, nurses, teachers, etc., to report certain injuries to children; penalty for failure to report.
A. The following persons who, in their professional or official capacity, have reason to suspect that a child is an abused or neglected child, shall report the matter immediately to the local department of the county or city wherein the child resides or wherein the abuse or neglect is believed to have occurred or to the Department's toll-free child abuse and neglect hotline:
1. Any person licensed to practice medicine or any of the healing arts;
2. Any hospital resident or intern, and any person employed in the nursing profession;
3. Any person employed as a social worker;
4. Any probation officer;
5. Any teacher or other person employed in a public or private school, kindergarten or nursery school;
6. Any person providing full-time or part-time child care for pay on a regularly planned basis;
7. Any mental health professional;
8. Any law-enforcement officer or animal control officer;
9. Any mediator eligible to receive court referrals pursuant to § 8.01-576.8;
10. Any professional staff person, not previously enumerated, employed by a private or state-operated hospital, institution or facility to which children have been committed or where children have been placed for care and treatment;
11. Any person associated with or employed by any private organization responsible for the care, custody or control of children;
12. Any person who is designated a court-appointed special advocate pursuant to Article 5 (§ 9.1-151 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1;
13. Any person, over the age of 18 years, who has received training approved by the Department of Social Services for the purposes of recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect; and
14. Any person employed by a local department as defined in § 63.2-100 who determines eligibility for public assistance.
This subsection shall not apply to any regular minister, priest, rabbi, imam, or duly accredited practitioner of any religious organization or denomination usually referred to as a church as it relates to (i) information required by the doctrine of the religious organization or denomination to be kept in a confidential manner or (ii) information that would be subject to § 8.01-400 or 19.2-271.3 if offered as evidence in court.
If neither the locality in which the child resides nor where the abuse or neglect is believed to have occurred is known, then such report shall be made to the local department of the county or city where the abuse or neglect was discovered or to the Department's toll-free child abuse and neglect hotline.
If an employee of the local department is suspected of abusing or neglecting a child, the report shall be made to the court of the county or city where the abuse or neglect was discovered. Upon receipt of such a report by the court, the judge shall assign the report to a local department that is not the employer of the suspected employee for investigation or family assessment. The judge may consult with the Department in selecting a local department to respond to the report or the complaint.
If the information is received by a teacher, staff member, resident, intern or nurse in the course of professional services in a hospital, school or similar institution, such person may, in place of said report, immediately notify the person in charge of the institution or department, or his designee, who shall make such report forthwith.  

Domestic Violence

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Cathy Backlund, Life Coach in Abuse & Domestic Violence

Expertise

Are you feeling confused, angry, scared or hurt? Are you being yelled at, hit, threaten or told what to do? Do you worry or fear the safety of yourself, your family or pets? These are all signs of an abusive relationship, and I can help you determine if you are in an unhealthy or dangerous situation. No one deserves to live a life filled with fear, pain and abuse, and I am here to help you find ways for a better life--everyone deserves to live a life without fear and abuse. Your questions will be answered with honesty and respect. Please ask questions today to help you find better ways to live a more loving and happier life for you and your family. Let me help you!

Experience

I am a Certified Life Coach Specializing in Abuse and Domestic Violence.

Organizations
•SPARCC (Safe Place And Rape Crisis Center), Sarasota, FL •CAT (Sarasota Violence Prevention Community Action Team) •Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence •Guardian Ad Litem 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida

Publications
Please visit my webpage for more information and articles about abusive relationships and domestic violence at www.lifecoachcathy.com or www.DomesticViolence-Education.

Education/Credentials
•B.S. from Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA •Core Competency Course from the Shelter for Abused Women and Children, Naples, Fl •Life Coach Training from Changepoint Coaching & Consulting Association •Advanced Training from The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Public Pathology Education •Sexual Violence Core Training from Florida Council Against Sexual Violence •High Risk Domestic Violence Training by Lundy Bancroft and Sarasota Police Department, Fl •Court Assistance Training from SPARCC (Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center), Sarasota, FL •Principles of Prevention by The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) •Guardian Ad Litem 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida

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