This caused a stir in the nation. There were no laws against child abuse at the time. Her predicament fell on the ASPCA, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In order to present her case in the court, she was categorized as an “animal” although a human one. The animal protection laws were used and they led to the arrest and sentencing of her foster mother. Mary’s case led to the formation of the New York Society for the Prevention of cruelty to Children. In the early 1960s, the hospitals and doctors were allowed to use X-rays for their work. This led to them being able to see the broken bones of the skeletal system. Fractured bones, etc. were noticed in the X-rays of the abused children. This convinced a Dr Kempe of the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh to carry out a research. In 1962, his article called the “Battered Child Syndrome” was published in the American Medical Association journal. He used his position as committee chair of American Academy of Pediatrics and presented a plenary session on his work and this resulted in his research being widely known. It expressed that abuse can be medically diagnosed propelling the nation to adapt and implement the mandatory reporting laws in 1974. This required that any suspected case of abuse be reported to the police. Since then, the law has put measures to eradicate child abuse of any kind by providing funds to programs that aid the public in identifying and reporting cases of abuse as well as providing sanctuary and protective services to victims. According to Burgress et al., (1978), child sexual abuse has been on the increase despite the laws regarding any form of abuse. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2005) shows out of every four girls, one boy and one girl are molested sexually by people who are close to them and whom they considered trustworthy. Sexual molestation of children is particularly rampant among African-American and Hispanic groups. The low socio-economic status, unsafe neighborhoods, historical oppression, single parent family arrangements and the lack of trust from the government could be the major reason as to why sexual abuse is higher within the two groups (Bagley, 1990). Due to the historic oppressions, these people think themselves to be inferior and this the major cause for the upsurge in crimes of sexual molestation. For this reason, the people - especially the children - are vulnerable to abuse. The children engage in sexuality as a way of assisting their families financially as they do not know that it is a form of child sexual abuse since they are not of legal age. The lack of trust between the government and these minority groups allows the perpetrators of these crimes with authority to do as they please without the fear of breaking the law. Therefore, these cases go unreported and the victims who are mostly children are left to suffer in silence (Bagley, 1990). In the city of New York, despite the laws that protect against child sexual abuse, it is still widespread in the region. A child may be at risk of molestation, it is required that he should be removed from the particular setting and be accorded proper assistance. On the contrary, the victimized child is not removed from the place as he is too scared to voice out what is being done to him.
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