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NCJ Number: 72840 Find in a Library
Title: Child Abuse
Journal: Oeffentliche Geundheitswesen  Volume:39  Issue:5  Dated:(1977)  Pages:279-289
Author(s): J G Gostomzyck
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: Child abuse in the Federal Republic of Germany is discussed in this article, with emphasis on offender characteristics.
Abstract: Each year, the German courts convict 200 to 300 child abusers, and estimates suggest that at least 100 of the children involved in these cases die as a result of abusive treatment. Furthermore, only about 5 percent of all cases of child abuse are believed to come before the courts. German law provides for prison terms of 3 months to 5 years for convicted abusers. A study of 55 convicted child abusers revealed the following prevalent offender characteristics: (1) no signs of mental illness; (2) normal or higher intelligence in all but 20 percent of the cases; (3) alcoholism in 85 percent of the men and 55 percent of the women with 44 percent of the men and 23 percent of the women abusing their children while being under the influence of alcohol; (4) heavy stress in 28 percent of the men and 48 percent of the women; (5) a high divorce rate; (6) unemployment or job problems; (7) previous convictions for 62 percent of the men and 24 percent of the women; and (7) childhood experience of abuse by about one-third of the men. Experience has shown that criminal proceedings against child abusers do not prevent further offenses. In fact, the punishment of an offender often leads to the worsening of the child's situation, especially if the offender is imprisoned and is thereby unable to provide further financial support. Family therapy is the most effective means of dealing with such problems by giving attention to the offender, the child, and the environment. The therapy should be required by the court, and the therapist should have free access to the family members at all times. Related literature is reviewed. A 28-item reference list is included. -in German.
Index Term(s): Abusing parents; Child abuse; Child abuse situation remedies; Germany
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