Parent and Family Stabilization Course: Abuse

Posted by: Dr. Justin D'Arienzo, Psy.D., ABPP

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is a prevalent form of abuse that occurs within families. It includes a pattern of controlling behaviors- violence or threats of violence- that one person uses to establish power over an intimate partner to control that partner’s actions or activities. It is abusive, disrespectful, and hurtful behaviors that one partner is chosen to use against the other partner.


  • Hurting you physically
  • Using children against you
  • Calling you names or hurting you emotionally
  • Harming your pets
  • Acting with jealousy and possessiveness
  • Isolating you from friends and family
  • Threatening to kill you or commit suicide
  • Controlling your money
  • Withholding medical help
  • Stalking you
  • Demanding sex or sexual practices
  • Hiding assistive devices
  • Minimizing destructive behavior


  • 5.3 million cases of domestic violence occur each year in the United States.
  • 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
  • Every day more than 3 women are murdered by their husbands in the United States.
  • One-quarter to one-half of women around the world have suffered violence from an
    intimate partner. UNICEF, The Progress of Nations, 1997
  • Women age 35-49 were the most vulnerable to intimate partner murder. Bureau of
    Justice Statistics, 2001
  • In Florida, there were 107,666 acts of domestic violence reported to law
    enforcement in 2015.

Child Abuse and Neglect

  •  “Abandoned” or “abandonment” means a situation in which the parent or legal custodian
    of a child or, in the absence of a parent or legal custodian, the caregiver, while being able,
    makes no provision for the child’s support and has failed to establish or maintain a
    substantial and positive relationship with the child. For purposes of this subsection, “establish
    or maintain a substantial and positive relationship” includes, but is not limited to, frequent
    and regular contact with the child through frequent and regular visitation or frequent and
    regular communication to or with the child, and the exercise of parental rights and
    responsibilities. Marginal efforts and incidental or token visits or communications are insufficient to establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship with a child.
  • “Abuse” means any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or
    sexual injury or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child’s physical, mental, or emotional
    health to be significantly impaired. Abuse of a child includes acts or omissions. Corporal
    discipline of a child by a parent or legal custodian for disciplinary purposes does not in itself
    constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child.
  • “Harm” to a child’s welfare. This can be an emotional, physical, or mental injury.
  • Excessively harsh discipline.
  • Commits or allows sexual battery against a child.
  • Allows or encourages the child to be sexually exploited
  • Abandons the child
  • Neglects the child
  • Exposes the child to controlled substance or alcohol
  • It gives the child drugs or mind-altering substances that aren’t prescribed to them
  • Inappropriate discipline that results in welts, bumps, bruises, etc.

False Reporting of abuse/child abuse

  • False reporting involves making a false claim to the central abuse hotline that someone commits child/abuse or domestic violence. This is out of pure maliciousness to harass, embarrass, or soil someone’s name.

How to Report Child Abuse

  1. Describe the situation clearly and include all of the information you know (names, addresses, date of birth, etc.)
  2. Share any knowledge of previous incidents, including nature and extent.
  3. include all reactions of the child
  4. Be sure to communicate any sense of urgency that you  observe
  5. You must include your name. Your name will serve as proof that you completed your legal obligation to report child abuse. We are all mandatory reporters!

Parent Education and Stabilization Course

Our Board Certified Clinical Psychologist and National Divorce Expert Developed a 4-Hour DCF approved Parent Education and Stabilization Course. We are approved in Florida, Georgia, and Texas to offer this course.  Immediately upon completion, we will send you a certificate. For only $19.95 per person, you can learn how to best provide for your children so that they can survive and thrive through your divorce.

Click below to learn more about our Florida, Georgia, and Texas Divorce Courses.