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ERIC Number: ED330430
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Oct-6
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Prosecution: An Effective Response to Child Abuse.
Harshbarger, Scott
A district attorney of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, argues that prosecution is the most effective and appropriate response to child abuse cases. Two basic premises are advanced. First, anyone who physically abuses, sexually assaults, or rapes a child has committed a serious crime, regardless of the relationship of the victim to the offender. Second, the most prevalent crisis faced by the criminal justice system, and society as a whole, is not random violence in the streets, but violence perpetrated by individuals who are acquainted with their victims. Most violence is committed by males against women and children. Fathers, stepfathers, husbands, and live-in boyfriends act out in violence against victims who are in a familial or custodial relationship with them. Because other institutions have failed to address this problem effectively, the criminal justice system has become involved. As a result of criminal justice system involvement, the shroud of secrecy veiling the family has been stripped away. Law enforcement personnel now realize that a multidisciplinary approach is required if the problem is to be solved. Education and prevention, and not reliance on criminal prosecution, are the ultimate solution. Medical professionals and the criminal justice system must find ways to work together in the interests of children. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Middlesex County District Attorney Office, Cambridge, MA.
Identifiers: Criminal Prosecution
Note: Speech presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics (59th, Boston, MA, October 5-10, 1990).