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STATE CHILD EMOTIONAL ABUSE LAWS: THEIR FAILURE TO PROTECT CHILDREN WITH GENDER IDENTITY DISORDER

Authors


andrewtford3@gmail.com

Abstract

Emotional abuse of children with Gender Identity Disorder by parents is very difficult to identify and prevent. State investigators of abuse and neglect often have a hard time determining if the reasons for mental illness and psychological harm in children are due to the actions of their parents, or if they stem from other sources. Once identified, it becomes even harder to prove in court for purposes of ordering services or removing the child from the home if the abuse is severe enough. With children who are gender non-conforming, this task becomes exponentially more difficult due to the low prevalence rate, discrimination, stereotypes, and a parent's right to bring up their child as they choose. These youth face discrimination and violence in school, work, their communities, and also within their own families. Emotional abuse statutes are too vague to protect youth who are gender non-conforming. The vague and unclear laws lead to inconsistency in the application of the law and lack of protection of the children because judges and investigators are not aware of how parent's actions harms youth with gender identity disorder. Therefore, states should adopt the model statute within this Note which defines specific actions by parents which would not qualify as abuse when involving gender conforming youth but qualifies as abuse for children with gender identity disorder. Many states already have statutes which define physical abuse, sexual abuse and abandonment by specific actions by parents towards their children. This proposal will enable both the state and the judges to properly identify victims with gender identity disorder of emotional abuse and provide for their protection.

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