A Short History Of Child Abuse
Institution Introduction Child abuse relates to the actions of a caretaker or a parent physically, sexually, or emotionally mistreating, neglecting, or abandoning a child (Find Law 2015). The history of abuse of children is not a recent practice, but the efforts to educate the people about the child as an important person started recently. The old ages practiced forms of child abuse unknowingly. Different parts of the world practiced varied forms of ill-treatment of children, which makes the history variant according to societal beliefs.
In the past, rules guarding the children against such abuses failed to have punitive effects on the perpetrators. Under the English common law, the children were a property of their fathers because the women were properties of their husbands for all the time up to the late asses. In America, the colonists maintained a similar tradition from the 16th century to the early years of United States. In some cultures such as the Ancient Roman traditions, a father had legal allowances to kill his children (Myers n. D).
Some cultures have the history of allowing their children to leaver or even sacrifice their children to appease the gods. This work discusses the history of child abuse and the vital period in history when people began to advocate child rights. The History of Child Abuse in the US The treatment of forms of ill-treatment of children by the law originates from the Anglo-American law. The tradition of a Joint law held that the males were in charge of the family and acted as both the protectors and the disciplinarians of those under them. The affected could be children, wives, the extended kin, apprentices, slaves, and servants.
As much as the law ensured that the males were responsible for clothing, feeding, and sheltering the dependents, it also allowed them some considerable discretion in terms of regulating their behavior. During the nineteenth century, the forces of arbitration and industrialization loosed communal ties, which had traditionally acted as critical regulators of child neglect and abuse (Abuse Watch 2015). The instability of capitalism in the market and the dangers originating from diseases and accidents in the American cities resulted in many working-class and poor Americans raising their children with difficulties.
Similarly, the larger numbers of the victims of child abuse lived and concentrated in the cities, which gave them a wider view of the public. A majority of these children ended up in the public almshouses in which the living, as well as working conditions, were deplorable. The growing middle-class held a different view of the children, considering them as less productive members of the families and as objects of the love and care of their parents. The middle-class did not practice the act of child abuse, but the working and the poor families did not have the assassination to stop the action.
Reformers, who worked in the private charitable institutions started efforts for ameliorating the problems. At the time, a large number of the cases, which they solved constituted neglect rather than physical abuse. The reformers did not sympathize with the parents concerning their social and economic laboring conditions. Most of the poor parents lost their parental rights in the event that the organizations found them guilty of neglect. Parents of most institutionalized children and labeled as Orphaned had living parents, but who were unable to take sufficient care of them.
Reverend Charles Brace established the New York Children Aid Society in 1953 (Abuse Watch 2015). The latter organization worked with a mind that the unhealthy moral surrounding of the city caused irreparable damages to the children and directed them to vice and crime. Brace founded lodging houses, evening schools, supervised country outings, and occupational training for the poor urban children. The Children’s Aid Society started sending children it found vulnerable to neglect to the western states for placement within farm families. For the next 25 years, there were about 50,000 children sent to the west (CASE 2015).
However, the society failed to follow up the children in their new homes, and a result, they ended up receiving more abuse. The reformers of the Progressive Era attempted to rationalize the allowances of the social welfare services. They desired to increase the role of the state in dealing with abuse, as well as neglect of independent persons using the doctrine of Parents Patria. The White House sponsored an initial Conference on Dependent Children and subsequently, it founded the US Children’s Bureau as the first agency for the advocacy of child welfare in the country (Abuse Watch 2015).
The advocates for Child Welfare during the progressive era considered employment of minors in unsupervised and dangerous environments such as hawking of newspapers and coal mining as the primary form of mistreatment. The group worked hard to champion the abolition of such cases using the new state law. Conclusion There was increased recognition of adolescence as a crucial human developmental stage, which gave a dynamic approach to the protection of child rights. The reformers were able to extend the chronological boundaries of the childhood periods and, this reason; they sought legislation for the children to stay in school and not at work.
The group also worked for the development of a Juvenile system, which would enable the Judges to have a consideration for the psychological needs of the adolescents and keep them distinguished from adult criminals. The first court established for the purpose of Juvenile Justice was the Cook County, Illinois in 1899. The courts took over the cases of child neglect and abuse from the former bodies. For the next decades, the numbers of children taken care of by foster homes burgeoned. There continued to be spirited efforts for the advocacy and protection of the rights of children for the latter period.
The present success and developments in dealing with child abuse relate to the wok of reformers of the Progressive Era. The reformers campaigned for the development of youth protection system through legislative organs such as courts and the constitution. They also made the definitions for abuse diverse, which attracted the involvement of more parties. The medical profession formed the core of the rights of children by the mid-twentieth century and remains one of the chief participants of the advocacy of rights of minors. References Abuse Watch (2015). The US History of Child Abuse.