Child abuse is one of the biggest challenges in the criminal justice system. Children are vulnerable and should thus be protected from all forms of abuse. Child abuse mainly takes two forms and is perpetrated by those close to the children such as relatives and family friends. The abuse can be either sexual or physical. The physical abuse involves any actions that live marks on the children such as hitting, scratching, biting and others. On the other hand, sexual abuse may include child molestation, child pornography and touching children’s genitalia among other acts.
In order to prevent child abuse, social workers should always work in collaboration with police officers and other law enforcement agencies. While the social workers are well equipped with skills to hand child abuse, the police officers have to be trained specially to collaborate with child social workers as well as to prevent child abuse (Staller and Faller, 2010). The collaboration is mandatory since child abusers often tend to be habitual and may threaten their victims as well as the social workers working with them.
The children have to be encouraged and convinced o open up and thus provide information that can lead to the arrest of the criminals. The collaboration is also essential in order to improve the thoroughness of the investigations and to enhance accountability. When dealing with crime, it is essential to collect sufficient information that can be used against the perpetrators of child abuse. However, there are cases where independent operations are necessary between the police and the social workers. This can be used when the level of trauma associated with the abuse is too high, when the parents of the children feel police involvement would enhance trauma and stigma against the family among other scenarios. It is however imperative that collaborative efforts be made in dealing with child abuse (Tower, 2010).
Staller, K. M., & Faller, K. C. (2010). Seeking justice in child sexual abuse: shifting burdens and sharing responsibilities. New York: Columbia University Press.
Tower, C. (2010). Understanding child abuse and neglect (8th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
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