In Oregon, Linn County deputies are investigating the death of two-year-old Samuel Martinez-Castaneda, on Saturday, August 23, 2008. Police arrested a Scio man by the name of Mario Juan De Dios, an illegal immigrant. Mr. De Dios was originally arrested for assault, criminal mistreatment and unlawful use of a weapon and added murder charges when the autopsy results were revealed. News stories report the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement authorities say Mr. De Dios is in the country illegally. The Department of Human Services removed the children from the mother’s home and placed the children with their biological father.  

Children under the age of three years old are the most likely victims of abuse, because the toddler stage is a very trying time for maladjusted adults. Adults with unrealistic expectations and poor coping skills are most at risk for engaging in abusive behavior. Physical abuse is the most overt form of abuse. Physical abuse can result in brain injury, fractured bones, soft tissue injuries, bruises, cuts and burns and even death.     

In general, there is an interaction of multiple risk factors in the environment that place children at risk to be victims of abuse. Researchers have identified abusive adults as having risk factors such as substance abuse, low self-esteem, mental or physical disability, depression, history of abuse as a child, poor coping skills, poor impulse control, history of violent behavior or history of being raised in a group setting with no positive parental role. Environmental factors that usually culminate in abusive events include social isolation, dysfunctional family characteristics and socio-economic burdens.  

All children are potential victims of child abuse, but some factors increase the risk for a child to be abused.

Christopher Keane
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California Child Abuse and Child Injury Lawyer
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