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By Kimberley A. McCabe

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Extra info for Child Abuse and the Criminal Justice System (Studies in Crime and Punishment, Vol. 9)

Example text

In cases of mothers who sexually abuse their children, the physical evidence, such as sperm that may be present in McCabe: Child Abuse SEXUAL ABUSE page 37 37 father-perpetrated abuse, is not found. In addition, a mother may “mask” sexual abuse in the activities of bathing the child or changing the child’s diaper. Few people would consider a mother who takes photos of her child in the bathtub to be an individual interested in distributing child pornography via the Internet. Explanations for mother-inflicted sexual abuse include pedophilia (the physical attraction to young children) and profit in the prostitution of children or child pornography.

During this suit it was also revealed that teachers and administrators who suspected abuse failed to report it. physical abuse, prosecutors will often charge offenders with lesser offenses in order to gain a conviction or plea bargain a case to avoid trial. In today’s age of conflicting standards of child physical discipline and child abuse, it is understandable that common law grants parents the privilege to apply reasonable force to their child in order to control, train, or educate that child (Goldstein, 1999); however, the distinction between discipline and abuse is often unclear and one wonders what is “reasonable”?

Sibling abusers often exhibit the same personality characteristics as adult abusers. These children, in an attempt to maintain control over their, in most cases, younger siblings resort to physically abusing them. Over time, the physical abuse at the hands of siblings, as well as with adult abusers, may increase in frequency and severity. The long-term effects may be permanent physical injury or emotional injury and even death. The victimization usually continues until the parents intervene or the victim discovers a way to end it.

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