Child Abuse and Neglect

Child abuse is so common that it has become a subspecialty in pediatrics. Indeed, children are 40 times more likely to be confirmed victims of abuse or neglect than to be diagnosed with cancer. “Upstream” obligations to help prevent abuse and neglect of children accompany clinicians’ “downstream” obligations as mandatory reporters, first responders, secondary illness and injury documentarians, and gatherers of forensic evidence. Since clinicians are also key communicators with children, perpetrators, parents, and colleagues during or following clinical encounters, how well they promote short- and long-term healing among persons who are or were victims of child abuse or neglect is often a function of how well they express trauma-informed care values in practice. This theme issue also considers how clinicians should best promote healing among persons, including themselves, who struggle to manage their own psychological and emotional secondary trauma responses when taking care of children who are abused and neglected.

Volume 25, Number 2: E89-165 Full Issue PDF