Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 January 1984

Volume 9 Issue 1

Reporting Laws on Child Abuse: Health Professionals’ Knowledge of and Attitudes Towards Child Abuse Reporting Laws and case Management, in Victoria

Dorothy A.F. Shamley



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This study investigates the knowledge and attitudes of health professionals towards the reporting of child abuse in Victoria. A review of the literature suggests that this professional group lacks adequate knowledge of child abuse reporting, legislation and procedures. It is also suggested that numerous factors other than ignorance of the law may influence professionals’ cooperation in reporting or trying to deal with a case of child abuse. Finally, it was found that the introduction of compulsory reporting in the State of Victoria would not markedly increase professionals’ willingness to report. Seventy-four health professionals were included in the sample for analysis, and the results indicate that negative attitudes to the law and the competence and resources of ancillary services is more of a problem than ignorance of the law.

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