RE: [Prevent-Connect] Definition of primary prevention
- While I agree with you wholeheartedly, I can explain why this happens. It is two different policies involved, with different groups (often overlapping). The government places itself "in loco parentis" with respect to children. This supposes that children cannot defend themselves against adults, especially abusive parents. There is a long history of child welfare -separate from family- that goes back to the child labor law movement. Basically what it is is that we have created the system by separating issues, instead of seeing the problem as a whole.
They have done somewhat better in the substance abuse field, where they acknowledge that the problem extends to the entire family, and that all members likely need help.
The policies are not a case of the people involved not being unwilling to help, just a case of legally, we have made this two separate issues, so different organizations and policy makers deal with it.
Having been involved with domestic violence issues for about 15 years, I have seen what happens to the kids, seen the cycle of violence repeated over and over, and always tried to do what I could for the kids involved, but, regrettably, there was often little or nothing I could make happen due to the way things are set up.
As a college professor, I see the same thing happening frequently because many academics specialize so narrowly that they have trouble seeing larger issues, and may not have read or studied outside a fairly narrow focus. I have been trying to change that as well, with about the same degree of success. I will however, continue to do whatever I can to make those changes, and to educate people who will be making policy in the future to think their way through a lot more completely. I am not dead, so I can still take action.
From: Prevent-Connect@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Prevent-Connect@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ruth Wangerin
Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 12:55 PM
Subject: RE: [Prevent-Connect] Definition of primary prevention
You know, one thing that's always annoyed me is how children kind of fall through the cracks in how we define abuse in the household.
The definition of domestic violence generally applies to physical or psychological harm to a spouse or domestic partner. Children are only secondary victims of domestic violence, as "witnesses" who may be traumatized and/or grow up to play the victim or batterer role.
The definition of "child abuse" is generally restricted only to severely harmful treatment, either sexual abuse or an extreme form of physical assault.
Here's my question: Why is it "domestic violence" if the person who is slapped or verbally degraded is an adult, but not if the victim is someone even more vulnerable, a child? Why aren't the public health and legal systems devoting resources to stamping out slapping, spanking, belittling, and verbal abuse of children by those entrusted with their care?
That would be too controversial in our culture, you say?
So what if it's controversial? Slavery was controversial, too. So is the notion of rape within marriage. We're willing to debate the wellbeing of the unborn, so why not the rights of the already-born? Lots of studies have shown that punishment and domination harms children--and that violence begets violence. Are we such a nonviolent culture that we can throw out all the research?
My guess is that children fall through the cracks because it's just easier to continue with business as usual. Grown-ups don't want to give up our "right" to bend children to our will. Everybody is touchy about their "parenting," myself included. I learned "positive discipline" from books and from my husband. It wasn't so easy to change, but I'm glad I did. Like breastfeeding, positive discipline is better for the child and easier for the parent. Perhaps a lot of professionals who see wife-slapping as "domestic violence" but child-spanking as "discipline" do not see the contradiction because they are stuck living the contradiction themselves.
Yahoo! Groups Links
- For Law Enforcement, the "P" word is not to be spoken, because of
course it is automatically associated with RACIAL "profiling." You
need a different word, one that doesn't have all that bad baggage to
Use "behavior patterns." Matching of observed behavior patterns with
known behavior patterns from typical offender-types is what police do
all the time. If they didn't, there would be no such things as
suspicion or probable cause.
Safe Harbor Resources actually DOES profile behavior-backgrounds by
matching such patterns formed by non-evidentiary information, with
those of socially skilled serial pedophiles. Since we can't allege
who actually IS dangerous (nobody can predict the future) we forward
the profile data, characterized as "appearances of potential for
complaint" to a Forensic Review Board made up of prosecutors and
investigators experienced in child molestation cases. Some of those
cases get returned to us as "not interesting." The rest they keep for
intense investigation resulting in a report for the employer.
Dave Allburn, Executive Director, SHR