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Abuse and Violence 14.docx

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University of Ottawa
Julie Desjardins

Abuse and Violence in the family – Chapter 14 What is family violence? Violence – defined as an act intended to physical hurt another person Abuse – refers to a situation in which a person takes advantage of a less powerful person History - Children were considered the property of their parents, exspecially the fathers – decided if they would live or die o Infanticide – killing of babes was considered a form of birth control. - Parents & teachers punished children physically - Sexual exploitation of children was Common “an act for prevention of cruelty to better protection of children” - Passed in 1893 “Battered child syndrome” – coined by Henry Kempe in 1960’s Canadian Criminal Code (1909-1960)  Included separate offence of wife battering where the victim had to demonstrate degree of bodily harm that was required in cases od assault by a stranger  In Canada, was not till 1983 that a man could be charged for raping his wife  Spousal violence still doesn’t appear as specific offence under the Canadian Criminal Code 2007  Females were TWICE as likely as males to be victims of a inmate partner 1990  Supreme court of Canada accepted Battered Women Syndrome was an acceptable legal defense by a women accused of killing her abusive partner Child abuse Physical Physically harming a child (punching, beating etc) Emotional A pattern of behaviors by parents and caregivers that could have caused serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or mental disorders e.g. rejecting/ignoring/isolating the child ALL abuse will come from emotional harm Neglect Not meeting the childrens basic needs - physical neglect - emotional neglect - educational neglect Sex Touching genitals, intercourse, exhibitionism, production of pornographic photos How many parents neglect or abuse their children  Most common invested by child welfare is neglect  2007, 153 Police departments reported 53 400 cases of assault againt those under 18  Reporting: only extreme cases of abuse reported to police if child protection agencies o Child abuse is frowned upon by society o Children are too afraid or to young to disclose abuse o Professionals may not report suspected abuse o People may feel it isn’t their business and don’t report Child Abuse- Demographic Characteristics  Age Younger children are more likely to be neglected Older children (12 or >) are more likely to be sexually abused  Gender Girls are more at risk of sexual abuse (one in 2 girls). .  Poverty Often results in crowded unsafe housing, restricted childcare opportunities  Lone-Parent families Higher rates of physical abuse and neglect Children at risk of being abused include: 1) Unwanted children 2) Children living with a lone parent 3) Children born either prematurely or suffering from perinatal complications 4) Children with physical or mental challenges, or those in poor health 5) Often young 6) Girls are more at risk of sexual abuse – often emotionally deprived and socially isolated, usually trust perpetrator who most likely is the only person who shows the child affection, expected to protective; most often sexually abused by family member Child Abuse - Consequences  Abused/neglected children have to adapt/cope with living in a challenging environment  These adaptations/coping mechanisms might cause problems in other contexts  Understanding of emotion Being a victim of abuse/neglect exposes you to different emotional experiences May change your understand and experience of emotion Is Spanking Child Abuse?  2010 – father in NB sentence to 45 days in jail for spanking 6 year old son.  The issue of spanking provokes strong opinions.  Researchers state that most parents spank their children.  Younger, less well-educated mothers tended to spank children more often than fathers and older, better educated mothers.  Those who argue that spanking is not abuse state that their parents spanked them and it did them no harm.  Officers will ask “open hand or closed hand” Literature states it CAN have long-term effect if it is consistent Spank other than the bottom or use a different object, or leave bruises or bleeding – than it IS child abuse What kinds of people abuse or neglect their children?  Perpetrators can be male or female  Differ in ages and relationships to child  Lower-socio-economic level in society Physical Abuse  Social interaction models recognize that abuse always takes place in a certain context (stressful environment)  Has poor coping techniques  Isolated and little social interaction  Lack financial resources  Perceive parenting as stressful - In crisis – claim their own needs and ignore child’s - Set standards high, beyond developmental level  Perpetrators have poor self-esteem, young and unmarried. Most experiences abuse  Abused most likely unwanted, female, whose parents separated before she was 15; lived in foster home because of neglect/abuse = higher risks of being an abuser Neglect  Distinguish between = short-term and chronic neglect  Neglected children tend to live in families under stress.  Neglectful mothers are often isolated, mental health or substance abuse  Sexual Abuse  Father and daughter incest more looked at  Oldest daughter often at risk, especially if she is a parent field child – father may see her as asexual partner as well as in a parental sense; using child’s curiosity and attachment in an inappropate way  may believe promoting child’s welfare and not hurting them  women abuse both boys and girls  child sexual abuse by women has long-term effects similar to abuse by men  Sexually abusive parents have two features in common: 1. they are sexually aroused by children 2. they are likely to act on that arousal Effects of Abuse on Children.  ALL abuse is harmful to children  Abused may have learning problems, problem behavior  Difficulty getting along with others  Forming satisfying relations as adults, hard to trust others, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder  The frequency and severity of abuse or neglect has been found to be more important than the specific type of maltreatment in explaining subsequent psychological problems.  Not all abused children suffer serious or long-term effects from maltreatment. Official Response to Child Abuse Child protection laws at national and provincial levels= requires cases of child abuse to be reported. If abuse is severe, abuser is prosecuted; less secure abuses are dealt with social service agencies (CAS, Child welfare)  Child removed from home (permanently or temporarily)  Counseling/treatment  Parenting methods taught Contradictory pressures on protection agencies = expected to prevent abuse from recurring and if child id harmed when returned, public is outranged  May be accused of child snatching  intruding on family life  Removed child may suffer damage by foster care; possibly experience more abuse Programs for abusive families  emphasize re-educating abusive parents to raise children safely at home, focus on social aspect parents isolation, development of social competence and self-esteem  Counseling education and support – more for mothers  Concerns about deficits and funding levels make it uncertain whether such programs can expanded or continue Children & Adolescents as Abusers Sibling Abuse Often physical, emotional, and sexual abuse occur together. Little research on incidence or after-effects In 2007, siblings were accused of sexual assault in 28% cases and physical assault in 18% Boys more accused than girls Some suggest brother-sister sexual abuse more common than father- daughter incest but fewer cases report Often physical, emotional and sexual abuse occur together Parents encouge children to settle own conflicts, not aware of damage done or sexual activity among their children the signs to watch for Parent Abuse Only reported in extreme cases Even less is known about parent abuse than sibling abuse. Estimates suggest that 7 to 13 percent of children attack their parents. o Mothers were more often the victims o Most accused of abuse were males o Older children tend to be more violent Parent abusers probably use assault to gain power and control in the family. Have little interest in school, already involved with police of child welfare agencies, have friends who are delinquents Substance abusers Abuse Between Partners Abuse Between Partners  While numbers were low, in 2007 women were more likely to use weapons against their spouse than vice versa  In the US, spousal homicide by men and women are almost equal In Canada, 4 times as many women are killed by their spouse  One problem with these studies is that they do not say whether women use violence as a means of self-defense  Research focused on violence against women  Females twice as likely males to be victims of an intimate partner Those who believe female abuse is more serious than male abuse point to the following facts 1) Women are more likely to suffer more serious injuries than men’ 4x as many women as men were killed by their partners 2) Many men kill wives after prolonged periods of escalating physical violence 3) Men more apt to hunt down and kill wives who left them or who were unfaithful 4) Men more often to kill children along with spouses 5) Women who kill partners often do so as self defense 1990 – Supreme court of Canada  accept that the battered women syndrome was an acceptable legal defense by women accused of killing her abusive partner – but is also an example of patriarchal justice that perceives women to frail and somehow incompetent  Women may receive light sentence but pronounced irrational and unfit to care for her children Dating Violence A survey of university and college students found 13.7 percent of men reported they have been abused by their dating partner in the past year 22.3 percent of women reported being abused types of dating violence  sexual assault  sexual coercion  emotional abuse / physical abuse VICTIMS OF WOMEN BATTERING- Who is at risk?  Women in new partnership, Cohabiting women 1) Aboriginal Women (3 times higher than non-aboriginal women) 2) Living in rural or isolated areas ,poverty areas 3) Immigrant women 4) Physically challenged / disabilities Abuse in Gay and Lesbian Relationships  Abuse in gay and lesbian relationships is a latecomer to the field of family violence. 1) Levels appear to be similar to heterosexual couples, or somewhat higher. 2) Stereotypes interference with recognizing abuse (homophobia) 3) Fear that admitting problems may only increase stigma against them 4) Victims doubt police and other professionals will regard such abuse as a serious issue Who Abuses their Partners? Focus on men in heterosexual relationships The following social and psychological characteristics are fairly common among these men: o They fully accept the traditional male
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