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September 1976

Approaches to Preventing Child Abuse: The Health Visitors Concept

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, National Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, University of Colorado Medical Center, Denver.

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(9):941-947. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120100031005

A better title for this lecture would be "A Vindication of the Rights of Children," after the classic essay, "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman," written in 1792 by Mary Wollstonecraft, which set forth the plight of women in those days.

Children in the Western world (though not yet in the southern hemisphere) have made striking progress in the past 200 years. Seen against a background of virtually being nonpersons, they are slowly emerging as citizens with rights of their own. In 1763, the poor-law governors (that is, the welfare department) of the parishes of St Andrew's and St George's in London were entrusted with 59 infants: of these, all but two had died two years later. But not only the poor died. Between 1767 and 1769 in London, in the absence of epidemic disease, there were 16,000 baptisms and 8,000 infant burials reported—half the children died. Because of

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