skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 135773 Find in a Library
Title: Wounded Innocents: The Real Victims of the War Against Child Abuse
Author(s): R Wexler
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 369
Sponsoring Agency: Prometheus Books
Amherst, NY 14228-2197
Publication Number: ISBN 0-87975-602-0
Sale Source: Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive
Amherst, NY 14228-2197
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book documents how many current policies of child abuse reporting, child abuse investigation, and child abuse case dispositions are not only failing to address adequately the cases of real abuse but are contributing to the harassment of nonabusing parents and nonabused children through false accusations, incompetent investigations, and case dispositions that violate parents' and children's constitutional rights.
Abstract: Regarding legal mandates for child abuse reporting, the book concludes that almost all persons who deal with children in the course of their work have been turned into informers, required to report any suspicion of any form of child maltreatment; the general public has been encouraged to do the same. Such reports may be made anonymously, making the system a potential tool for harassment. Regarding investigators of child abuse allegations, the author believes that untrained, inexperienced, and incompetent "child-protection" workers have been given the authority to label parents as abusers and even to remove children from their homes and families. In child abuse cases, traditional burdens of proof and standards of evidence have been relaxed both in the investigative process and in court. Families have not been adequately protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. In the course of attempting to respond to every allegation of child abuse, sparse resources are thinly spread across multitudes of cases, such that the cases of genuine and severe abuse are not adequately addressed. This book favors Wald's model law presented in "Standards Relating to Abuse and Neglect" (1981) as a means for improving the effectiveness of official responses to child abuse allegations. Additional recommendations are offered. Appended chapter notes and a subject index
Main Term(s): Child abuse investigations; Child abuse situation remedies
Index Term(s): Child abuse reporting; Child protection services; Foster homes; Parental rights; Rights of minors
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.