Papers on child abuse

Child sexual abuse had long been associated with poverty and overcrowding in slum housing. The postwar years of full employment created a sense of Britain as an affluent society. The social problems that emerged were perceived to be less about incest and assault, and more about ‘good time girls’.  There was little recognition that child sexual abuse might be found in middle-class households; its cross-class nature was belatedly acknowledged only in the 1980s.   In the 50s and 60s, concern was instead about promiscuity and high levels of venereal disease amongst sexually active young women, who were blamed for their ‘lack of hygiene’ even if they were under the age of 16.  There seemed astonishingly little interest in framing girls as victims of sexual assault, even where surveys showed pregnancies amongst 11 and 12 year old girls. Instead, the talk was of delinquents and pre-delinquents. Where child abuse was named in the postwar decades, it was sometimes also distanced from ‘indigenous’ populations and blamed on parents from overseas. 

Papers on child abuse

papers on child abuse

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