Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 June 1976

Volume 1 Issue 2

Some Facts and Fancies About Child Abuse

Peter Boss

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Peter Boss


1 Monash University

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The main purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the phenomenon of child abuse. It is intended to present some of the main facts and findings insofar as they have emerged in clinical and empirical work as well as some of the speculations which are enmeshed in such work. Additionally it is the intention to place the topic into a wider socio-cultural context which must inevitably involve some comment on political and economic factors. Perhaps it should be added that having embarked on such a global approach this paper cannot do more than act as an introduction to the topic of child abuse. This however may serve as a means by which interest is aroused in it and concern shared over a phenomenon which is an embarrassment to any civilised society. This concern has been rekindled over the past decade. The use of the word “rekindled” is deliberate since the literature of the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. has, to my knowledge, not really ceased to cover this topic since the great debates and activities surrounding the formation of societies for the protection of children in both countries toward the close of the last century. More recently however, clinicians, particularly in America, pointed the way to a revival of concern in the causation of non-accidental injuries to young children and equally important, have generated an interest in prevention and generally management of the problem.

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