chapter  Eleven
14 Pages

Child abuse

WithQuentin Spender, Niki Salt, Judith Dawkins, Tony Kendrick, Peter Hill, David Hall, Jackie Carnell

The prevalence rates for child sexual abuse vary according to the definition used. There are four main types of abuse: physical abuse or non-accidental injury, child sexual abuse, neglect, emotional abuse. Investigative interviewing is best left to social workers. The situation that is most likely to arise in general practice is with adolescents who may be on the verge of disclosing that they have been sexually or physically abused. Child sexual abuse may occur within or outside the family, and the perpetrator may be an adult, an adolescent or a child. The forms of sexual abuse range from inappropriate fondling or masturbation to full sexual intercourse and buggery. Emotional abuse is extremely difficult to define, as it concerns the nature of the parent-child relationship. Difficulties include the need to examine the process instead of just merely isolated events, and the question of where to set the threshold for definition or intervention.