U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Child Abuse, Child Molesting, and the Law (From UNAFEI Annual Report for 1985 and Material Produced During the 70th International Training Course, P 90-106, 1986 -- See NCJ-106514)

NCJ Number
G Kaiser
Date Published
17 pages
A review of the definitions and extent of child abuse, neglect, and sexual molestation emphasizes the experience of West Germany and considers current trends in law and practice in dealing with these problems.
The four types of behavior that are widely recognized as harmful to child development are the use of physical force, emotional abuse, physical and emotional neglect, and sexual abuse. The law reflects these principles, although it does not usually forbid all corporal punishment. Society is increasingly recognizing that abuse takes place most often in families in lower social classes and with multiple problems. Societal responses are thus emphasizing support and help to families rather than punishment. The handling of juvenile offenders who sexually molest children also reflects efforts to avoid the harmful stigmatization of youthful offenders. Research has focused mainly on parents and families. Corporal punishment of school children, the abuse of children by other children and juveniles, and the state's lack of action in particular cases have received little attention and deserve more. 61 reference notes.