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View Diary: Better Safe Than Sorry (25 comments)

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  •  Thank you for tackling a topic that is a minefield (15+ / 0-)

    because of the very nature of the problem.  Health professionals and other professionals need to be very vigilant for abuse, as I have seen estimates that in the 50s and 60s as few as 10% of possible cases were reported.

    At the same time there is the problem of overzealous investigators whose sloppy work made spurious investigations a front page item.  It is also frustrating that partners engaged in divorces may also use such charges as a weapon against each other or that people with axes to grind file false reports.  These occurrences should not obscure the fact that children are being abused and the abuse still appears to be underreported.

    (small note here about shield laws: most states seem to have absolute shield laws so that people reporting child abuse can do so with complete impunity and complete anonymity.  A false report traumatizes the entire family, not just the individual accused and can stigmatize a family unfairly.  I wish shield laws would offer some sort of exception for those cases where malice on the part of the reporting party is clearly demonstrated.  These false reports that are fewer than 5% or 10% of all cases give the impression that all reports are false, much as the Duke Lacrosse Players case damaged the reporting of rape across the country)

    •  Minefield, indeed. (7+ / 0-)

      Most of those I know working in this area are acutely aware of the double-edged sword.  That's why a full and fair investigation to bring all the facts to light is so important.  We need to protect our children but we need to do it in a manner that won't cause further trauma.  The people who do this work are, for the most part, quite dedicated; however, they are human and mistakes can be made.  Unfortunately, a mistake in this area can cause significant damage.  Then again, too much caution can allow abuse to continue if it is indeed occurring.  Holding back on outright accusations and focusing on fact gathering is essential.  A determination can only be made properly upon an honest evaluation of all the facts.  It can be an effort to set aside emotion, but it is vital to avoid bias.

      You are my brother, my sister.

      by RoCali on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:13:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And I confess, (10+ / 0-)

      nothing infuriates me more than a false report.  They cause so much damage to the individuals involved, as well as having potentially detrimental impact on future cases.  I concur on your idea on the malicious claims protected by shield.  The shield laws are important, but not written well enough and failed to acknowledge those occurrences.

      You are my brother, my sister.

      by RoCali on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:19:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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