Theories of Child Abuse

Authored by: Tamara Del Vecchio , Ann C. Eckardt Erlanger , Amy M. Smith Slep

Handbook of Family Theories

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415879453
eBook ISBN: 9780203075180
Adobe ISBN: 9781135118754

10.4324/9780203075180.ch12

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Abstract

Lore in the field of child maltreatment suggests that the start of child protection from abuse began in the 1870s with the case of Mary Ellen. A child who was abused by her caregivers, Mary Ellen was removed from the home through work with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was created as a consequence of the public outrage and negative media coverage (Pfohl, 1977). Almost 100 years later, prompted by the seminal book The Battered Child (Helfer & Kempe, 1968), the field began progressing at a rapid rate with the establishment of mandated reporting (1960s; Besharov, 1983) and the child welfare system (1970s; Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, CAPTA, 1974).

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