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NCJ Number: 136680 Find in a Library
Title: Investigations of Child Abuse/Neglect Allegations in Religious Cults: A Case Study in Vermont
Journal: Behavioral Sciences and the Law  Volume:10  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter 1992)  Pages:75-88
Author(s): V L Malcarne; J D Burchard
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 14
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After considering the general problems associated with the investigation of allegations of child abuse in religious cults, this article illustrates these problems in a Vermont case and proposes legislation tailored to investigations of child abuse in religious cults.
Abstract: Attempts by State agencies to investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect against uncooperative religious cults have proven particularly challenging, since the nature of these groups makes identification of and access to child and adult members problematic. These problems were evident in the investigation of alleged child abuse in The Community in Island Pond in Vermont. In the face of collective noncompliance with investigative mandates, Vermont authorities spent almost 2 years in unsuccessful efforts to investigate many reports of child physical abuse in the religious cult. Statutes that mandate investigations of child abuse and neglect, as well as those which permit the taking of children into State custody, should contain language that recognizes the possibility for abuse and neglect in a cult setting. Special attention should be given to the need for nonconsensual access as a last resort in situations where there is reason to believe the children will be removed from the jurisdiction and where other forms of access are unsuccessful. 18 references
Main Term(s): Child abuse investigations; Cults
Index Term(s): State laws; Vermont
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