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NCJ Number: 134489 Find in a Library
Title: Incest and Intrafamilial Child Abuse: Fatal Attractions or Forced and Dangerous Liaisons?
Journal: Journal of Family Law  Volume:29  Issue:4  Dated:(1990-91)  Pages:833-888
Author(s): G P Smith II
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 56
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This overview of incest and intrafamilial child abuse discusses cross-cultural biological, psychological, sociological, literary, canonical, and legal perspectives and recommends strategies for addressing these debilitating behaviors.
Abstract: The specific topics covered are the American legal position on child abuse and incest, the general psychopathologies of incest and child abuse, characteristics of the child abuser, programmatic failures of child abuse prevention programs, constitutional protections, and goals and treatment strategies. This review concludes that the social stigmas and legal prohibitions against incest must continue along with laws against intrafamilial child abuse. Consistent with the constitutional principles of freedom of association and of contract, however, civil and criminal sanctions should be modified to allow marriages between collateral relatives (related only through marriage). Such marital relationships present no undue threat to the cohesiveness of the nuclear family nor to the genetic balance and integrity of the societal gene pool. Efforts to combat child abuse require that local and State governments create a greater financial base for the development and implementation of legal and health-care strategies. Definitional precision must be achieved in the delineation of the various forms of child abuse as well as the circumstances and evidentiary proofs that will sustain convictions. Further study of the etiology of child abuse is necessary for the development of effective programs to combat it. Punishment for child abuse must continue, but it must be fair and include rehabilitative measures. Appended child-focused custody and visitation evaluation agreement and 233 footnotes
Main Term(s): Child abuse prevention; Incest
Index Term(s): Child protection services; Child Sexual Abuse
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