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Child Abuse Requires Increased Government Intervention (From Child Abuse: Opposing Viewpoints, P 34-40, 1994, David Bender and Bruno Leone, eds. -- See NCJ-159823)

NCJ Number
Date Published
7 pages
The U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, established under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to evaluate and improve efforts to prevent and treat child abuse, believes that child abuse is a national emergency requiring more government intervention.
The board indicates that the system for responding to child abuse and neglect is failing and does not ensure child safety. Moreover, the board estimates that the United States spends billions of dollars on programs dealing with the failure to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect. Children must be given the basic necessities of life, including food, shelter, clothing, health care, education, and emotional nurturance, so that they do not suffer needless pain and so that they become full community participants. All citizens share an ethical duty to ensure child safety, particularly since maltreatment often has deleterious effects on children's mental health and development. Maltreated children are more likely than their peers to have significant depression and to engage in violent behavior. Infants and young children are at greater risk of serious physical harm due to abuse and neglect. Even though the number of reported child abuse cases is increasing, surveys of professionals working with children consistently show that many cases of suspected child maltreatment are not reported. Therefore, more government resources are needed to significantly reduce child abuse and neglect. 1 figure