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National Victim Assistance Academy Resource Paper: Child Abuse and Neglect

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2012
22 pages
Publication Series
After describing several forms of child abuse and neglect as well as the developmental and ecological contexts within which child maltreatment occurs, this paper discusses the differential impacts of such victimization across childhood stages, by type of harm done, and the family social contexts in which maltreatment occurs.
The distinctive impacts of abuse and neglect are addressed in the context of the child's age, the form of abuse, the victim's relationship to the perpetrator, and other contextual factors. Noting that the impact of traumatic events on children can vary according to the child's age, differential impacts of maltreatment are discussed for the following age groups: children 5 years old and younger, children 6 to 11 years old, and adolescents 12 to 17 years old. The discussion of maltreatment impacts by type of maltreatment considers physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and sexual exploitation. The paper then discusses effective responses for victim support and advocacy, medical and mental health treatment, and advocacy for justice system participation. Specific issues addressed are multidisciplinary teams, children's advocacy centers, and the child development - community policing (CD-CP) model. The CD-CP model originated as a collaboration beginning in 1991 between Yale Child Study Center and the New Haven (CT) Police Department. It is a successful collaborative model that teams clinicians, who are available 24/7 by pager, with police officers, who may call or consult with clinicians on any case in which a child has experienced or is exposed to trauma. Other responses to child maltreatment considered are child fatality review/child death review, court-appointed special advocates, justice system and juvenile and family court programming, and kids' court. The paper concludes with a discussion of cultural issues and barriers to reporting and accessing services. 65 notes

Date Published: September 1, 2012