Paper Sample on Unveiling Legal and Ethical Duties: Reporting Abuse and Trauma in California

Published: 2023-11-12
Paper Sample on Unveiling Legal and Ethical Duties: Reporting Abuse and Trauma in California
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Abuse Law Ethics
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 688 words
6 min read

Federal stipulates that an individual is deemed to be guilty of a crime provided he or she initiates whatever form of communication that is intentionally intent on harassing or threatening another, for the crime of aggravated assault (Moreau, 2020). In this regard, any individual who feels verbally threatened qualifies as a victim of aggravated assault and has a duty to inform the police of the fear for his or her safety by filing a complaint against the aggressor. Further, a court injunction may be sought in the form of a restraining order against the aggressor (Moreau, 2020).

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According to Kolaitis (2017), a person experiencing trauma and abuse will show signs and symptoms that are recognizable and should act as an alarm to the observer. Usually, an abused individual will display both physical and psychological fear, anxiety, and hopelessness. Other signs to look for among traumatized individuals include sleeplessness, eating disorders, clinginess, and repetitive post-traumatic behaviors such as being startled at trauma triggers, for instance, sounds. Kolaitis (2017) adds that abuse and trauma among underage victims should be reported to authorities such as child services and the police for swift action to be taken to protect the minors.

When evaluating the likelihood that an individual will make an attempt at his or her own life, 8 main pointers comprise the list of factors to cross-check in determining the risk of a suicide attempt. These include 1. History of prior suicide attempts, 2. The misuse or addiction of either or both legal and illegal drugs, 3. Mental illness such as bipolar personality or depression, etcetera, 4. Access to weapons or lethal means of taking one’s own life, 5. History of successful suicide of a family member, 6. Social isolation both by self and others, 7. Disability or terminal illness, and 8. Lack of access to behavioral health services such as psychological counseling (Suicide Prevention Center, 2020).

The procedure in the State of California concerning the reporting of abuse requires that an adult aware of the abuse and maltreatment of a minor should report the incident to the police by dialing 911 during emergency cases. However, the hotline 1-800-342-3720 is operational 24/7/365 and is dedicated to receiving detailed reports on child abuse and neglect. Once the caller is identified and registered, an interview ensues whereby the Child Protection Services (CPS) agent determines the veracity of the claim. Following the determination of the agent, a formal investigation is effected within 24 hours and the child is put under the protective custody of CPS. The findings of the investigation determine whether legal pursuits are to be taken by CPS or other family-appropriate services should be considered for the welfare of the abused child (California Department of Education, 2020).

California state laws do not require a third-party adult to report abuse or trauma on behalf of an adult victim. However, the law mandates adults and minors to report abuse and neglect of minors where evidence of trauma and abuse is witnessed in the interest of protecting the child. CPS lists instances where child neglect and abuse are evident as observable signs of physical pain-inflicted injuries on the child, sexual abuse, and laborious exploitation of the child. Child neglect can also be observed through signs of abandonment or children left unattended by parents. Similarly, cruel or inhumane corporal punishment and endangerment of the child, for instance, driving while under the influence of alcohol with a child on board are some of the instances that the state has listed that qualify as child neglect and abuse (California Department of Education, 2020). Hence, all citizens have a duty to report any such instances to the police of the CPS for action to be taken to safeguard the welfare of the child.


California Department of Education. (2020). Child abuse identification & reporting guidelines. Retrieved 08 12, 2020, from

Kolaitis, G. (2017). Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents. European Journal pf Psyhotraumatology, 8(sup4), e1351198.

Moreau, C. (2020, July 14). Man handed restraining order after racially aggravated harassment. Hereford Times. Retrieved from

Suicide Prevention Center. (2020). Risk and protective factors. Retrieved 08 12, 2020, from

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Paper Sample on Unveiling Legal and Ethical Duties: Reporting Abuse and Trauma in California. (2023, Nov 12). Retrieved from

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