Prosecutors called on to end child abuse

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Oct. 21, 2008, at 9:08 p.m.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — The director of the Minnesota-based National Child Protection Training Center urged Maine prosecutors on Tuesday to join the call to end child abuse within 120 years.

“For our country and for our children, we, too, must give our last full measure in the hope that others just as dedicated will come after us and complete what we begin,” said Victor Vieth of Winona, Minn. “Someday, somewhere, somebody will write the history of our nation’s victory over child abuse. When that history is written, may it be recorded that the beginning of the end occurred in the early part of the 21st century when thousands of child protection professionals from every region of the country joined forces to lead the charge.”

For more than a century, American society’s concern for abused children has lagged behind its regard for the protection of animals, Vieth said. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded in 1865, but it wasn’t until 1874 that the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was founded.

The government, he said, did not recognize that it had an interest in protecting children until the 1930s, when the Social Security Act was passed. Not until 1962 did physicians recognize battered child syndrome as an independent diagnosis.

Five years later all 50 states had passed mandated reporting laws, but not until the 1970s were these laws expanded to include children who had been sexually abused.

According to Vieth, to end child abuse, five obstacles must be overcome: printed on March 28, 2017