During the years of 1985 and 1996, there was a 50 percent increase in reported cases of child abuse. In 1996, three million cases of child abuse are reported in the United States each year. Also that same year some twelve hundred children died from abuse across the country. Treatment of the abuser has had only limited success and child protection agencies are overwhelmed. Recently, efforts have begun to focus on the primary prevention of child abuse. Primary prevention of child abuse must be equipped on many levels before it can be successful. Prevention, on the social level is very important and could possibly save a life. According the American Humane Association prevention should include widening the financial self-sufficiency of families, discouraging corporal punishment and other ways of violence. Making health care more available and affordable, increasing and developing coordination of social services, evolving the identification and treatment of psychological problems, and alcohol and drug abuse, providing more affordable child care and preventing the birth of unwanted children. Prevention plans on the family level include helping parents meet their basic needs, identifying problems of substance abuse and spouse abuse, and educating parents about child behavior, discipline, safety and development. In the case of child abuse, primary prevention is defined as any intervention designed for the purpose of preventing child abuse before it occurs.
In 1993, three million children in the United States were reported to have been abused. Thirty-five percent of these cases of child abuse were confirmed. Data from various reporting sources indicates that improved reporting could lead to a signific...
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...nd increasing attempts to enhance their skills as parents or care givers may help save the most vulnerable people, our children, from the nightmare of abuse and neglect.
1. Bass, Ellen. The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Abuse. New York: Harper & Row, 1997.
2. Davis, Laura. Stop Domestic Violence. New York: Macmillan, 1998.
3. TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/
4. American Humane Association; http://www.americanhumane.org/
5. The Gallup Organization. (1995). Disciplining children in America: A Gallup Poll report. Princeton, NJ
6. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. (1998). Child maltreatment 1996: Reports from the states to the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
7. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. (1996). Child abuse and neglect: Case-level data 1994. Working Paper I. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office
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