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Addressing Child Abuse

Possibly the greatest scourge of modern society is child abuse. The abuse of innocent, powerless children by those who are supposed to be protecting them is heinous. The maltreatment, sexual violation, emotional devastation, and extreme neglect of so many of todayÆs children are a reproach against not only abusive parents but also the many people who could stop them and do not bother. Friends, neighbors, teachers, medical professionals, and even strangers who witness abuse but refuse to take action are all to blame.

The basic goal of social work and legislation involving child abuse is the protection of children from physical and emotional harm. Therefore, one of the primary issues facing social workers and other professionals tasked with addressing child abuse is the prevention of abuse through identification of which children are being abused or are likely to be abused. Although much effort has gone into researching and analyzing the various signs to watch for in a potentially abused child, the fact remains that in many cases, these children go undetected. Furthermore, programs designed to educate children to avoid situations where abuse could occur have also essentially failed due to the fact that the sheer multiplicity of possible methods and scenarios an abuser could use makes it impossible to educate a child on all of them.

The role of the social worker in preventing abuse and convicting perpetrators has also become increasingly complex. Social workers who treat an abused child, although they may be the best-equipped people to represent a childÆs interests in legal matters, are ill-advised to serve as witnesses for the child in a court of law. This dual role is regarded as a conflict of interest, and the social workers that serve thus are denigrated as ôsanitized.ö ôTreating therapists who act as æsanitizedÆ expert witnesses expose their clients to the likelihood of mistrials or appeals based upon their d...

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Addressing Child Abuse. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:10, April 21, 2019, from