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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 43614 Find in a Library
Title: DELICATE INQUIRY - THE INVESTIGATOR'S ROLE IN CHILD ABUSE
Journal: VICTIMOLOGY - AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL  Volume:2  Issue:2  Dated:SPECIAL ISSUE (SUMMER 1977)  Pages:277-284
Author(s): J I MCGOVERN
Corporate Author: Visage Press, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Visage Press, Inc
Alexandria, VA 22314
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE FREQUENT FEELINGS OF DEPRESSION ENCOUNTERED WHEN FACING EVER-INCREASING NUMBERS OF TRAGIC CHILD ABUSE SITUATIONS, THE PROBLEMS OF DEALING WITH PARENTS, AND TECHNIQUES FOR DEALING WITH SUCH CASES ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: SOME OF THE MAJOR PROBLEMS FACED BY INVESTIGATORS OF CHILD ABUSE CASES TODAY IS THE INCREASING NUMBER OF REPORTS, THE INABILITY TO GIVE EACH CASE THE TIME IT DESERVES, CONTINUAL EXPOSURE TO TRAGIC SITUATIONS, AND A FEELING OF GREAT PERSONAL DEPRESSION. THE KEY IS TO ESTABLISH PRIORITIES. SERIOUS INJURIES DESERVE MORE INTENSE WORK THAN MINOR INJURIES OR CHRONIC NEGLECT. SEXUAL ABUSE SHOULD RECEIVE HIGH PRIORITY. MANY TIMES THE FAMILY IS VERY COOPERATIVE IN THE INVESTIGATION, BUT THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEY RECOGNIZE THE PROBLEM. OFTEN THEY MAINTAIN THAT THE BEATINGS WERE NEEDED DISCIPLINE. WHEN THE PARENT IS OPENLY HOSTILE OR DENIES THE INCIDENT, THE BEST STRATEGY IS OFTEN TO SHIFT TO OTHER PROBLEMS IN THE HOME ABOUT WHICH THE PARENT IS WILLING TO TALK. IN ADDITION, THIS INFORMATION CAN BE VALUABLE IN FORMING A CASE. HOSTILITY OR VIOLENT BEHAVIOR SHOULD BE CAREFULLY DOCUMENTED. CULTURAL DIFFERENCES ARE OFTEN ENCOUNTERED AND PARENTS WHO WERE THEMSELVES ABUSED OFTEN JUSTIFY THEIR OWN ABUSE IN TERMS OF 'THAT'S THE WAY IT WAS DONE WHEN I GREW UP.' RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, ESPECIALLY RELIANCE ON FAITH HEALING, ALSO PRESENT PROBLEMS. WHEN A REPORT PROVES UNFOUNDED, THE INVESTIGATOR IS OFTEN IN AN EMBARRASSING SITUATION. THE BEST COURSE IS TO EXPLAIN THE STATE'S RESPONSIBILITY TO FOLLOW UP ALL REPORTS. THE FACTORS WHICH SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN RECOMMENDING COUNSELING OR FOSTER HOME PLACEMENT ARE BRIEFLY SUMMARIZED. GENERALLY, AN INVESTIGATOR MUST BE READY TO REMOVE A CHILD FROM THE HOME WHEN SAFETY DEMANDS IT, BUT HE MUST ALSO BE AWARE OF THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS ACT. CRITICS OFTEN CHARGE THAT CHILD ABUSE PROGRAMS ONLY BECOME INVOLVED AFTER THE CHILD HAS BEEN INJURED. WHILE THIS IS TRUE FOR GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES WHO MUST HAVE A LEGALLY JUSTIFIABLE CAUSE BEFORE INTERVENING, MANY PRIVATE AGENCIES EXIST WHICH CAN OFFER HELP BEFORE THE CRISIS STAGE IS REACHED. INVESTIGATORS SHOULD BE AWARE OF SUCH RESOURCES IN THE COMMUNITY.
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Crimes against children; Interview and interrogation; Sexual assault; Techniques
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=43614

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