June 22, 1984

'Society's love affair with violence' cited as major factor in child abuse

JAMA. 1984;251(24):3201-3203. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340480003001

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"Our chief opponent is society's love affair with violence," Douglas A. Sargent, MD, JD, of Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich, chair, American Medical Association Panel on Child Abuse, told participants in the first AMA National Conference on Child Abuse held recently in Chicago.

How best to fight for the offspring of that affair— the physically battered, emotionally bereft, sexually abused victims of violence perpetrated by adult family members and/or acquaintances—was discussed by several hundred practitioners of the caring professions.

Physicians, lawyers, social workers, psychologists, and others considered the putative causes and possible cures of the problem. Their most hopeful conclusions focused on the need for continuing advocacy of children's rights, reporting of adult wrongs, and prevention of the various familial situations that appear to lead to abuse.

According to Richard D. Krugman, MD, director, C. Henry Kempe National Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, Denver, who