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Sonali De, Abused Childhood: Use of Qualitative Methods in Identification and Assessment

Abused Childhood: Use of Qualitative Methods in Identification and Assessment - An Indian Context

Sonali De*

An abused childhood may leave wounds that can stretch throughout life. The hurt can be especially deep if inflicted by the close ones, which occurs quite often. Violence against children, in its different forms, can be traced back to early civilizations. Publication of a seminal work ‘The battered child syndrome’ by Kempe et al. in 1962 in the Journal of American Medical Association brought widespread medical attention to child abuse for the first time. There are clear indications that despite growing concern, child abuse is still a global problem. While gross violence against children receives clinical, research and media interest, micro-violations, despite being more pervasive, easily deceive attention. It occurs in a variety of forms and is strongly rooted in cultural, economic and social conditions. It is important to realize and reduce the risks of abuse for every child to ensure a violence-free environment so that their potentials can get a chance to flourish. Understanding the contextual reality concerning child abuse and neglect can facilitate its removal. Qualitative research methods have rich potentials to comprehend the nature and extent of neglect in the context of the social-cultural matrix in the life of the abused children.

* Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Calcutta, India. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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