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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 52124 Find in a Library
Title: BATTERED CHILDREN - DOCTORS, PARENTS, AND THE LAW
Journal: JOURNAL OF THE KENTUCKY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION  Volume:74  Issue:2  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1976)  Pages:89-93
Author(s): M J STAMM
Corporate Author: Kentucky Medical Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Kentucky Medical Assoc
Louisville, KY 40205
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A DESCRIPTION AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CHILD ABUSE SYNDROME ARE DISCUSSED ALONG WITH THE OPERATION OF THE KENTUCKY CHILD ABUSE REPORTING LAW. EVIDENTIARY ASPECTS AND PROSECUTION OF ABUSING ADULTS ARE CONSIDERED ALSO.
Abstract: THE NATURE OF CHILD ABUSE, THE EXTENT OF ITS INCIDENCE, AND THE CLINICAL PROFILE OF THE ABUSIVE ADULT ARE DISCUSSED BRIEFLY TO PROVIDE BACKGROUND INFORMATION TO SUPPORT THE CREATION OF CHILD ABUSE REPORTING LAWS. THE KENTUCKY CHILD ABUSE REPORTING LAW REQUIRES DOCTORS AND OTHER SPECIFIED PERSONNEL WHO COME IN FREQUENT CONTACT WITH CHILDREN TO REPORT SUSPECTED PHYSICAL CHILD ABUSE. REFUSAL TO DO SO MAKES THEM VULNERABLE TO LITIGATION. UNDER KENTUCKY LAW, THE ABUSIVE PARENT VIOLATES THE PENAL CODE IN SECTIONS RELATING TO THE TREATMENT OF CHILDREN AND MAY BE LIABLE ALSO TO CIVIL SUIT BY THE ABUSED CHILD. THE ABUSED CHILD, OR CHILD SUSPECTED OF BEING ABUSED, WILL GENERALLY BE HANDLED IMMEDIATELY BY A JUVENILE COURT ORDER OF TEMPORARY CUSTODY. AN ABUSE CASE WILL OFTEN INVOLVE A CIVIL ACTION IN THE JUVENILE COURT. WHERE ABUSE IS FOUND, PARENTAL RIGHTS TO CUSTODY OF THE CHILD MAY BE SUSPENDED WHILE THE CHILD IS CARED FOR BY STATE OR LOCAL SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCIES. IN SEVERE CASES, PROCEEDINGS MAY BE INSTITUTED IN CIRCUIT COURT TO TERMINATE PERMANENTLY ANY RIGHTS TO CUSTODY OF THE CHILD. THE PRESENTING OF EVIDENCE IN CHILD ABUSE CASES IS VIEWED AS A PARTICULAR PROBLEM BECAUSE OF THE SECRETIVE NATURE OF MOST ABUSE. WITNESSES TO THE ACTUAL ABUSE ARE USUALLY LACKING, LEAVING ONLY CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE, USUALLY PROVIDED BY MEDICAL PERSONNEL, AS THE PRINCIPAL SOURCE OF PROOF. COOPERATION BETWEEN THE LEGAL AND MEDICAL PROFESSIONS, THEREFORE, IS VIEWED AS ESSENTIAL IN PROVIDING PROTECTION FOR ABUSED CHILDREN THROUGH COURT ACTION. WHILE CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF ABUSIVE ADULTS IS CONSIDERED ADVISABLE UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES TO BRING THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE PROBLEM TO THE ATTENTION OF THE PUBLIC, IN MOST INSTANCES TREATMENT OF THE PARENTS WOULD NOT FAVOR A PUNITIVE APPROACH. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Evidence collection; Kentucky; Laws and Statutes; Prosecution
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52124

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