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Family Violence and Abuse

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In 40% of the cases examined, dependable parents admitted: “ they believed there was nothing wrong with what had happened” . The caseworkers who were instructed to evaluate the case documents thoroughly reported “ that in more than half the cases… the supervision problem was due to a lack of knowledge or poor judgment about the needs of children” . Today, if a child is abused by a parent, there is no assurance that the child will be separated and given any form of protection from the maltreating parent. In fact, the child is more likely to be separated from his/her parents because of poverty than maltreatment.

It is also less likely that the abusive parent will be apprehended, except if the child dies. Rather, the parent will more probably go through counseling or therapy (Reece, 2003). The entire practice would be pathetically outrageous. While therapy and counseling may sooner or later form a partial remedy to the psychological disorder that led the parent to maltreat his/her child, it is still a fact that a child has been harmed, and the attacker should be prosecuted under the law.

Even though the abusive parent must be provided complete legal protections, s/he must understand that child abuse is unlawful and will be legally apprehended. So the questions are, at what age does beating a person, with the intention of inflicting physical injury, become a criminal act punishable by law? Why can a child not do the same? When should the child be removed from the responsibility of semi-legal protective services and be afforded the absolute protection of the law? Most probably, an individually aged twenty-one and above could legally file a complaint against a parent for abuse.

Actually, the child should not have to file a complaint. Instead, a parent should be automatically arrested if there is proof of child abuse (Reece, 2003). Abusing a child, like other forms of physical maltreatment, is not an act that should be dealt with by the child welfare institutions.    

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