San Diego Law Review

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Willful child abuse resulting in what has been termed the battered child has received an increasing amount of attention in recent years. While the problem is not unique to modern times, its solution continues to challenge the minds of men in almost all the professions of functioning society in the United States - including medicine, law, the social sciences, education, and government. The purpose of this article is to try to achieve some perspective on the problem by analyzing significant aspects and to clarify the legal issues so as to bring them closer to resolution. Part of the problem involves identification of the battered child; this part subsumes the problems of defining his characteristics, determining the available persons for, and their impediments to, identifying him. It also implies a need to know the frequency of occurrence of abused children and understand the causes and correlational factors which accompany them. Interrelated to identification, yet distinct, is the process of prevention and remediation through the law. In order to solve the problems and meet the issues, which the legal framework has avoided, legal reform is necessary.

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