Child Abuse and the Importance of Reporting
Child abuse has been a problem for many centuries, and there have been studies of how people have lived that show a constant pattern of child abuse and neglect. The following information will show people the history of child abuse, warning signs, statistics of the abused, the different reporting processes, and the ethical importance of reporting child abuse and neglect. To begin this discussion, the readers will be introduced to the history of child abuse. According to a book titled Little Immigrants, child abuse has occurred historically in many forms. One in particular is that of child labor; the child labor discussed here includes parents forcing five year old children to work 16 hour days in factories and being beaten in order to make them work faster. Many of those same children were shipped off from London to Canada in the 1870’s to work on farms. These children were not the only children affected by child abuse, but someone decided to bring attention to the situation. In 1886, a reporter by the name of John Kelso wrote of these children and what they were going through. Through the media attention, The Children’s Aid Society was formed in 1891 with Kelso as president (Bagnell, 1985). In the United States, around the same time, there was a case of a nine year old little girl by the name of Mary-Ellen. This little girl was shackled to her bed, malnourished, and beaten severely. A woman by the name of Mrs. Etta Wheeler was asked to go see the family and when she got there, she found Mary-Ellen and she reported this abuse to the authorities. Thus, the case of Mary- Ellen is considered to be the first case of child abuse in the United States. Her case was the leading case in founding the Society for Prevention of Cruelty of Children, which was established in 1874. The society also publicized the fact that they did not necessarily have complete authority over their children (Finkelhor, 1986). The...
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