Child Abuse (Hot Topics) by Bonnie Juettner

By Bonnie Juettner

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Sample text

He caused her to have three miscarriages. She finally carried a son, Mark, to term, because her partner was in jail during the pregnancy. When Mark’s father returned home from jail, he began beating Carol again. He did not attack Mark, but Mark got hurt anyway because he tried to get between his mother and father during beatings. ”17 She finally fled to another state when Mark’s father was sent to jail again. Carol was lucky that she did not lose custody of her son. Women whose partners assault them often lose custody of their children, because child welfare investigators argue that these mothers have failed to protect their children from their fathers.

The child, parents, and caregivers are interviewed, and social workers visit the home and review the child’s history. But if a case is classified as being of low to moderate risk, social workers approach it differently. Instead of formally investigating, they do an assessment. They do not make a formal determination that the report of abuse is substantiated or unsubstantiated. But they do find out what stresses the family is experiencing and offer help. Cases that are assessed this way may never make it into the juvenile court system.

Teens are the next most commonly abused age group. But children ages four to twelve are also frequently abused. Boys are more likely to be beaten, while girls are more likely to be sexually assaulted. The most at-risk children are those who are especially hard to care for. This group includes, for example, children who had low birth weights or who were premature, like Jones and Lovell’s children. It also includes children who are physically disabled or developmentally delayed. It is especially easy for an abuser to 35 death from Abuse, by Age, 2006 overpower a child who is unusually small, weak, or disabled.

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