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NCJ Number: 65564 Find in a Library
Title: CHILD ABUSE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF CRIMINAL LAW, CRIMINOLOGY, AND CRIMINAL POLICY
Journal: MONATSSCHRIFT FUER KRIMINOLOGIE UND STRAFRECHTSREFORM  Volume:60  Issue:2  Dated:(APRIL 1977)  Pages:89-99
Author(s): H JUNG
Corporate Author: Carl Heymanns Verlag
Germany (Unified)
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Carl Heymanns Verlag
5 Cologne 1, Germany United
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: THE CHILD ABUSE SITUATION ILLUSTRATES THE INTERRELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CRIMINOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE AND CRIMINAL POLICY, AS WELL AS THE POSSIBILITIES AND LIMITATIONS OF CRIMINAL LAW IN WEST GERMANY.
Abstract: WHILE THE CRIMINAL CODE PROTECTS DEPENDENT PERSONS FROM MISTREATMENT AND NEGLECT, IT DOES NOT COMPLETELY OR SPECIFICALLY COVER OFFENSES FALLING IN THE CATEGORY OF CHILD ABUSE. STATISTICS ON CHILD ABUSE ARE INADEQUATE, ALTHOUGH POLICE CRIME STATISTICS INDICATE A SLIGHT UPWARD TREND IN RECORDED CHILD ABUSE OFFENSES; THE DARK FIGURE, NOT YET DETERMINED, IS PROBABLY VERY HIGH, AS STUDIES IN THE UNITED STATES SUGGEST. WHETHER CHILD ABUSE IS EXPLAINED THEORETICALLY AS AN EXPRESSION OF AGGRESSIVENESS IN SOCIETY OR AS AN OUTLET FOR INDIVIDUALS UNDER PRESSURE, THE PHENOMENON CALLS INTO QUESTION THE ABSOLUTE RIGHT OF PARENTS TO DISCIPLINE CHILDREN THROUGH ANY MEANS. PHYSICAL DISCIPLINE APPEARS TO BE MORE COMMON IN THE LOWER THAN IN THE MIDDLE CLASSES, ALONG WITH STRESSFUL CONDITIONS SUCH AS OCCUPATIONAL PRESSURES, BROKEN HOMES, INABILITY TO CHOOSE OTHER DISCIPLINARY METHODS, EXCESSIVE DEMANDS ON CHILDREN, AND LACK OF UNDERSTANDING FOR THE POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENTAL DAMAGE FROM ABUSE. LEGAL REFORM IS UNLIKELY TO REMEDY THE SITUATION BECAUSE OF THE INTRINSICALLY SUBJECTIVE LEGAL DEFINITIONS USED TO SEPARATE LEGAL FROM ILLEGAL BEHAVIOR AND BECAUSE OF DIFFICULTIES IN PROVING OFFENSES. REPORTING LAWS SUCH AS THOSE IN THE UNITED STATES REQUIRING DOCTORS, TEACHERS, SOCIAL WORKERS, AND RELATIVES TO REPORT CASES OF ABUSE WOULD PROVIDE STATISTICS AND INFORMATION FOR INDIVIDUAL INVESTIGATIONS BUT INTERFERE WITH CONFIDENTIALITY REQUIREMENTS AS WELL AS GUARANTEED RIGHTS OF PARENTS AND PLACE REPORTING PARTIES IN THE AWKWARD POSITION OF ACCUSERS WHO MUST FURNISH PROOF. FURTHERMORE, CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS DO NOT SOLVE THE CHILDREN'S PROBLEMS, AS PENALTIES DO NOT DETER ABUSERS AND MAY REMOVE PARENTS FROM THE FAMILY, AGGRAVATING THE SITUATION; PARTIAL DECRIMINALIZATION WOULD BE PREFERABLE. PREVENTIVE SOCIAL WELFARE MEASURES DESIGNED TO CURB CHILD ABUSE, ESPECIALLY MARRIAGE, FAMILY, AND SCHOOL COUNSELING, REQUIRE ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL RESOURCES, REGIONAL COORDINATION, AND PUBLIC RELATIONS EXPOSURE. EXTENSIVE NOTES ARE SUPPLIED. --IN GERMAN. KMD)
Index Term(s): Abusing parents; Child abuse; Child abuse detection; Child abuse reporting; Child abuse situation remedies; Crime Causes; Criminal codes; Criminology; Germany; Jurisprudence; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Legal doctrines; Parental rights; Social classes
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65564

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