Child Abuse

Child Abuse

In 1962, C. Henry Kempe conducted a survey of eighty-eight hospitals in which he identified 302 children who had been ?battered?. The survey, which for the first time defined the ?battered child syndrome?, graphically catalogued brutality to young children, many of whom suffered multiple injuries. While earlier discoveries of the child abuse phenomenon had smoldered in the public consciousness, Kempe?s report ignited a broad-based national effort to find ways to protect children. Specifically, it led to calls for child abuse reporting systems, to ensure that whenever a ?battered child? was even suspected, the case would be reported and measures taken to protect the child.
By 1966, all fifty states had passed legislation regulating child abuse, all of which mandated reporting. By 1986, every state but one required reporting of neglect, and forty-one states made explicit reference to reporting of emotional or psychological abuse. Initially mandated reporting was limited to physicians, but this was eventually extended to include teachers, nurses, counselors, and the general public. The state mandated reporting laws resulted in a meteoric rise in child abuse reports across the United States. In 1962, when Kempe and his colleagues published their report, there had been about 10,000 child abuse reports. By

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