Children often become the direct victims of domestic violence. Oftentimes, being exposed to domestic violence leads to the child being mentally or emotionally impaired. Oftentimes, in a sad twist of fate, an act of reckless violence results to the death of an innocent child.
In this case, a government agency filed a negligence case against a mother of two minors. The two children were Ravern H., aged 18 months, and Kelly S. Ravern, aged six weeks. The government agency found that the children are neglected children and removed them from the mother’s care for a period of 12 months.
According to sources, the mother has a boyfriend whom she continually engages in a fight. These fights would usually turn violent, with the boyfriend or the mother losing their tempers.
The government agency said that at the time of the incident, the mother had a fight with her boyfriend. The evidence, according to the government agency, establishes that while the mother was holding the child, her boyfriend chased her and closed her hand in the bedroom door, breaking her finger, and that, while she was attempting to leave the apartment with the child, her boyfriend picked her up by her head and bit her face, and then pushed her over onto the child.
The mother said she used a love seat pushed against the wall as a makeshift crib for Ravern. The mother testified that she found her first born child dead the following morning. The child was between the love seat and the wall. According to the government agency, it was the mother’s fault that the child died. The government agency said that while the mother had a fight with her boyfriend, her boyfriend pushed her and she fell on the child.
The court held that to support a finding of neglect petitioner must prove both parental misconduct and harm or potential harm to the child by a preponderance of the evidence. With respect to this incident, the court concluded that the government agency has established two facts only: that the mother has been the victim of domestic violence, and that the children have been exposed to that violence, and therefore failed to establish that respondent is responsible for neglect. The court found that the government agency was not able to prove that the mother was unwilling to change her conduct and that she willingly exposed her children to acts of domestic assault.
The court did not give credence to the government agency’s testimony. Instead, the court relied on the extensive autopsy report, wherein the cause of death was determined to be sudden infant death syndrome, commonly known as SIDS, i.e., the sudden death of an apparently healthy infant that remains unexplained after all other causes, including suffocation, are ruled out.
Domestic violence has a far-reaching effect to victims. It is unfortunate that domestic violence leads to death, especially that of an innocent child. Losing a loved one and being involved in a lawsuit for their wrongful death is difficult, but there are New York Domestic Violence Attorneys will stand by you and help see you through your case. These Attorneys can argue your side and make sure you and your loved ones are compensated.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its NY Family Lawyers has offices in the New York Metropolitan area including Corona, NY. Our Attorneys will guide you through your difficult situations. Without our Attorneys, you may lose your rights which may cost you a significant amount of money.
In addition to Family Law, Stephen Bilkis and Associates will recommend Assault Lawyers who will help you.