Module 6 Introduction
In this section we’ll be looking at child abuse, domestic violence and elder abuse. I have been an advocate for the victims of domestic violence in one way or another, all of my professional career. When I retire, I plan to devote myself to the CASA program full-time. I have a link in this module about CASA and I hope you all check it out. I feel it’s the most important volunteer work you can do.
Having said that, I only have a brief space and time to address this issue. Perhaps in the future, I will write an entire course devoted to just child abuse. Know that this material can be triggering to victims and it’s important to practice self-care.
https://www.rainn.org/articles/self-care-after-trauma (Links to an external site.)
Competencies covered in this module:
Analyze specific actors and actions attached to a criminal act
Classify elements of specific crimes within the criminal definition
Identify the necessary actions and satisfy the legal requirements of criminal liability
Identify mental intent necessary to satisfy the legal requirement of criminal liability
Compare the sentencing structure between person and non-person crimes in Kansas
CHAPTER 14: CRIMES OF ABUSE
Physical Child Abuse may be defined as any act which results in a nonaccidental physical injury by a person who has care, custody or control of a child. There are two key aspects to this definition—the act is intentional or willful and the act resulted in a physical injury. An accidental injury does not qualify as child abuse. For example, an accidental slip in a bathtub would not qualify as child abuse even if the child received an injury that required several stitches. Child abuse as discussed in this chapter is manifested by physical injury which can be proved or documented. Simply yelling at the child is not child abuse within the meaning of this definition, nor is spanking the child on the hand, the face or the buttocks if those acts did not result in a physical injury that can be documented. While it is true that any form of spanking causes injury in the form of pain and some trauma to the child, unless the force is sufficient to leave marks, most medical and legal authorities will not classify these acts as child abuse. This lack of a clear definition is part of the problem of physical child abuse.
The physical battering of children is not a new phenomenon. Children have suffered trauma at the hands of their parents and caretakers since the beginning of recorded history. Every state has laws preventing the physical abuse of children. The phenomenon of child abuse has generated many studies. One of the most commonly cited of these studies was conducted by the American Association for Protecting Children. The information contained in this annual report indicates that in 1982 almost 1 million children were abused and neglected. Other studies report figures ranging from 200,000 to 4 million. Some researchers even take the position that there is no method of obtaining reliable data in this field. Even the federal government has failed to establish standards for reporting child abuse. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) is the accepted method of reporting crimes on a nationwide basis. The UCR publishes crime statistics reported by 16,000 law enforcement agencies. However, it provides no specific information on crimes against children. With the exception of murder, the UCR does not list the victim’s age. The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN) a division within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has commissioned studies to provide a national estimate of the incidence of child maltreatment. Many authorities believe that the number of reported cases of child abuse is only the tip of the iceberg. This is particularly true for those children between the ages of 12 and 19.
Child neglect is the negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by a parent or caretaker under circumstances indicating harm or threatened harm to the child’s health
or welfare. While this appears at first glance to be a simple and straightforward statement, it covers a wide range of activities or omissions that impact on the physical and emotional wellbeing of a child. At what point does mere inattention or lack of knowledge translate itself into child neglect. The above definition would require an act or omission which results in harm or threatens to cause harm to the child’s health or welfare. This act or omission may be physical or psychological. A strict interpretation of this definition would require that parents or caretakers guard their children like prisoners. However, this is unrealistic because children are mobile. They get into drawers, cabinets, and every corner in the house and yard. Therefore, we are dealing with a continuum that stretches from momentary inattention to gross inaction.
Child sexual abuse is sexual exploitation or sexual activities with children under circumstances which indicate that the child’s health or welfare is harmed or threatened. This definition includes inappropriate sexual activities between children and adults. The inappropriate behavior may be between family members or between a stranger and the victim. Intrafamilial sexual abuse includes incest and refers to any type of exploitative sexual contact occurring between relatives. Extrafamilial sexual abuse refers to exploitative sexual contact with perpetrators who may be known to the child (neighbors, babysitters, live-in partners) or unknown to the child.
One of the major problems with this definition is the requirement that the child be harmed. From a legal perspective, harm to the victim is not an element of the crime of child sexual abuse. If certain physical acts occur, the crime is complete. In criminal proceedings it is not necessary to prove that the perpetrator intended to or actually harmed the child. However, this definition is useful in exploring the consequences of child sexual abuse and retaining the requirement of an injury to the child will allow for such a discussion.
The following acts are examples of child sexual abuse: exposing one’s sexual organs to the child, voyeurism, touching the sex organs of the child, mutual or self-masturbation with the child, oral sex, intercourse and anal sex. In addition, allowing the child to view or participate in pornographic or obscene movies is considered child abuse.
Child sexual abuse may be distinguished from rape in that the perpetrator may use a variety of different “techniques” to achieve the objective of sexual gratification. Rape normally involves sexual acts as the result of force or fear. Child abuse offenders may also use force or fear, however, they also employ other pressures or influences to accomplish their goal.
Elder abuse is defined as conduct that results in the physical, psychological, material, neglect, harm or injury to an elder. This definition applies both to domestic as well as institutional abuse. Material in the context of elder abuse refers to the exploitation or use of resources. An elder is a person 65 year or older. The initial age determination of 65 is based upon common acceptance of that age by most authorities, scholars and professionals. This age group may be further sub-divided into those between 65 and 75 who are called the young-old and those above 75 who are referred to as the old-old.
Elder abuse can occur in a domestic or institutional setting. Pillemer and Moore point out that despite two decades of state and federal regulation of nursing homes, abuse of the elderly still occurs on a regular basis. The focus of this section will be on the domestic abuse aspect of this form of violence since more research has been done in this area. However, abuse of the elderly in nursing homes and long-term care institutions is a fact of modern life and should not be forgotten or overlooked when considering the overall plight of the elderly in our society.
Spousal abuse is defined as any intentional act or series of acts that cause injury to the spouse. These acts may be physical, emotional or sexual. Spouse is gender neutral and therefore the abuse may occur to a male or female. The term includes those who are married, cohabitating, or involved in a serious relationship. It also encompasses individuals who are separated and living apart from their former spouse. While there is some disagreement regarding the exact definition of spousal abuse, all scholars and authorities agree it exists.
Reading Assignment – Module 6
Please read Chapter 14 in your text.
Please go to this website and learn about the CASA program. I personally believe this is the most volunteer work you can ever do. It’s important to be able to make at least a year commitment to this organization because the child you advocate for needs to know they can count on you while they process through the system.
https://nationalcasagal.org/ (Links to an external site.)
I’d like you to learn about Marian Wright Edleman, a major child rights advocate (still living):
https://www.childrensdefense.org/staff/marian-wright-edelman/ (Links to an external site.)
Long term consequences of child maltreatment:
Child Sexual Abuse
extra familial sexual abuse
intrafamilial sexual abuse
Guardian Ad Litem
Answer questions – Module 6
This quiz is developed from your reading assignments, video and lecture.
1. What factors are common with perpetrators of child maltreatment? (Your video has a good section on this). Describe at least three.
2. What are some long-term consequences of child maltreatment? Describe at least three.
3. Elderly abuse is not something we discuss often in this county and yet we know it’s occurring Why do you believe this is such an unreported crime and what is one preventive measure we could take.
4. Most children have some degree of protective factors. What are three of these and what are some things we can all do to foster protective factors in children. For example, competency in reading and comprehension in reading is a protective factor. One of the things we have done on campus is to have a book drive for our family crisis center and we encourage the residents to keep any books they wish.
5. Most perpetrators of child sexual abuse are not brought to the attention of the authorities, and when they are, very few are prosecuted and even fewer are convicted. Having resources in your community such as forensic interviewing of child victims and law enforcement advocacy, strengthens prosecutions. What other types of services would be helpful in prosecuting perpetrators?
6. Children often don’t tell about any abuse and/or neglect they suffer. Why is mandatory reporting so vital in getting services to these children?
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In this section we’ll be looking at child abuse, domestic appeared first on Skilled Papers.
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In this section we’ll be looking at child abuse, domestic appeared first on My Blog.