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World Perspectives on Child Abuse: The Fifth International Resource Book

NCJ Number
Donald C. Bross; Thomas J. Miyoshi; Patricia K. Miyoshi; Richard D. Krugman
Date Published
166 pages
This document analyzes international trends in the response to child maltreatment.
Measuring the incidence, prevalence, and institutionalized response to child maltreatment across the world is very challenging. Few countries keep records of child maltreatment reports. Individuals have been identified in more countries than before that recognize the importance of protecting children from abuse or neglect, and that will provide information on efforts by their societies to reduce child maltreatment. Volunteer reporters from 67 countries provided this information by questionnaire. More countries are attempting to document incidence rates. Many countries have developed alternative methods for intervening in identified cases of child maltreatment. The average number of organizations active in the preventive or treatment response to child abuse appears to be growing in many of the countries reported. A few countries are reported to have fewer types of organizations active in the response to child maltreatment, although this is not consistent. The inability to differentiate between perceived change and actual practice suggests that any dramatic swings observed in these data over a 2 and 3 year period merit closer review. The methodology underlies the instability of some responses. These changes illustrate the value of trying to maintain the effort over time as multiple data points increase the likelihood that methodological problems can be separated from true trends. An estimable measure of country-by-country response to child maltreatment can be viewed as part of the context of the overall well being of children. In each country for which reports have been made for more than one point in time, some sense of trends within nations can be observed. 31 tables, 6 appendices