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HOME > Prosecutions > Child Abuse

  Child Abuse  
   What is Child Abuse?  Child Abuse Response Team (C.A.R.T.)  ●  Child Abduction  
   Child Abuser Vertical Prosecution Program    Report Abuse / Seek Help    Brochures  
  What is Child Abuse and Neglect?  
  The International Child Abuse Network (Yes ICAN) takes their definition of child abuse and neglect from the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)*, Public Law 104-235), as it has been amended and reauthorized in October 1996.

CAPTA defines child abuse and neglect as: "at a minimum, any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm."

For CAPTA, the term child is: someone who has not reached the age of 18; or (except in the case of sexual abuse) the age specified by the child protection law of the State in which the child resides;

CAPTA defines the term "sexual abuse" as: "the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or simulation of such conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct; or the rape, and in cases of caretaker or inter-familial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children."

  There are four forms of child maltreatment: emotional abuse, neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse.

Emotional Abuse: (also known as: verbal abuse, mental abuse, and psychological maltreatment) Includes acts or the failures to act by parents or caretakers that have caused or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or mental disorders. This can include parents/caretakers using extreme and/or bizarre forms of punishment, such as confinement in a closet or dark room or being tied to a chair for long periods of time or threatening or terrorizing a child. Less severe acts, but no less damaging are belittling or rejecting treatment, using derogatory terms to describe the child, habitual scapegoating or blaming.

Neglect: The failure to provide for the childís basic needs. Neglect can be physical, educational, or emotional. Physical neglect can include not providing adequate food or clothing, appropriate medical care, supervision, or proper weather protection (heat or coats). It may include abandonment. Educational neglect includes failure to provide appropriate schooling or special educational needs, allowing excessive truancies. Psychological neglect includes the lack of any emotional support and love, never attending to the child, spousal abuse, drug and alcohol abuse including allowing the child to participate in drug and alcohol use.

Physical Abuse: The inflicting of physical injury upon a child. This may include, burning, hitting, punching, shaking, kicking, beating, or otherwise harming a child. The parent or caretaker may not have intended to hurt the child, the injury is not an accident. It may, however, been the result of over-discipline or physical punishment that is inappropriate to the childís age.

Sexual Abuse: The inappropriate sexual behavior with a child. It includes fondling a childís genitals, making the child fondle the adultís genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, exhibitionism and sexual exploitation. To be considered child abuse these acts have to be committed by a person responsible for the care of a child (for example a baby-sitter, a parent, or a daycare provider) or related to the child. If a stranger commits these acts, it would be considered sexual assault and handled solely be the police and criminal courts.

  Child Abuse Response Team- C.A.R.T.  
  The Child Abuse Response Team (C.A.R.T.) was established by this office in 1997 to work in conjunction with the Child Abuse Vertical Prosecution Program. The C.A.R.T. team works along with the program attorney to reduce the number of interviews a child abuse victim must undergo, as well as to coordinate more effective criminal investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases. The C.A.R.T. staff in conjunction with the program attorney reviews cases, meets with the child and family to establish a working relationship, and refers the child and family to the Victim's Center and Kids' Court. The program networks with Rape Crisis Response Services for court support and with the child's counselor.

The C.A.R.T. concept provides for specially equipped soft interview rooms, and Child Interview Specialists trained to conduct comprehensive multi-disciplinary interviews which will meet the needs of law enforcement, the District Attorney, Victim/Witness, and Child Protective Services, while at the same time promoting the search for truth and protecting the rights of the accused.

Currently, the program utilizes a  specially equipped "soft room" for interviews. The interview room was constructed and equipped through community donations and labor.

Since the inception of the program through Dec. 2009, 3,725 children had been interviewed. Children interviewed range in age from 2.5 to 17 years. Interviews are conducted in both English and Spanish.

For more information on our Child Sexual Abuse Program or the Child Abuse Response Team Program, please contact our office.
  Child Abuser Vertical Prosecution Program  
  In 1995, this office was awarded a grant from the Governor's Office of Criminal Justice Planning to establish the Child Abuser Vertical Prosecution Program.  This program was renewed in 1998 to provide a South County Child Abuse Vertical Prosecution Program. The program has dramatically increased our capability to meet the needs of children, reduce the amount of time required to resolve a case and increase our conviction rate. Vertical prosecution allows for two attorneys to exclusively handle child sexual abuse cases from filing through sentencing as a part of the larger Family Protection Division.  Most importantly, vertical prosecution of child sexual abusers makes possible the treatment of child-victims and witnesses within a victim-friendly environment. The program attorney reviews cases, meets with the child and family to establish a working relationship, and refers the child and family to the Victim's Center and Kids' Court. The attorney also networks with Rape Crisis Response Services for court support and with the child's counselor.  
  Seek Help- Tulare County Health and Human Services   
  To Report Suspected Child Abuse Call: 1-800-331-1585  
  Children's Trust Funds
Frank Ingram
Office of Child Abuse
744 P Street,
Mail Station 19-82
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916)323-8103 (fax)

Don't Shake the Baby
Margery Winter
Office of Child Abuse Prevention CCDSS
744 P St., MS 19-82
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-2907   (916)445-2898 (Fax)

Office of Child Abuse Prevention



Prevent Child Abuse America

Julie Christine
Executive Director
California Chapter
CA Consortium to Prevent Child Abuse
926 J St., Suite 717
Sacramento, CA 95814-2707
(916) 498-8481
(916) 498-0825 (fax)
Prevent Child Abuse America

Community-Based Family Resources and Support Programs 

Michael Carey
Office of Child Abuse Prevention
744 P St., MS 19-82
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-2877
(916) 323-8103





Office of the District Attorney, County of Tulare
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