Law

Abuse A young homeless woman and her baby arrive at a church for shelter. An older woman who lives alone and is a member of the church offers to take them in and provide them with food and shelter until the young mother can find a job and get back on her feet. After about one week, the young woman begins to act strangely and tells the older woman that she is possessed by the devil. The older woman starts to be concerned, but assumes that her head is just “a little messed up from living on the streets.” During the next week, the older woman hears theyoung woman chanting in her room while the baby is crying. Two days after that, she hears what sounds like the woman beating the baby and the baby crying continually. The older woman questions the young woman, who replies, “I have to beat the Devil. I can’t let him take over my life. Those who are bad must be punished.” Answer the following questions:

a. What kind of abuse seems to be occurring?

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b. If physical abuse is occurring, what legal options could she exercise?

c. Does the older woman have a duty to protect the child from further abuse, as she was giving food and shelter to the mother and baby?

d. Could the older woman be charged for the abuse that has already occurred? What a bout t he mo ther?

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