Monday, January 16, 2006

After All, Most Child Abuse Takes Place In "The Home"

In the wake of the Ruth Kelly brouhaha, liberals are reminding us that :

As the NSPCC points out, most abuse happens at home. One child is killed each week by a parent or carer; six die each year at the hands of unknown predators.

Actually it's worse than that. About 3,500 babies are killed each week by strangers with the mother's collusion. These strangers are usually doctors. But let it pass.

"Most abuse at home" was repeated in today's Guardian, and on the Today programme by professor (of Sexualised Violence - I'm not making this up) Liz Kelly, who runs the taxpayer-funded Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit at London Metropolitan University (formerly Camden Women's Institute), a male-free zone which boasts femiluni Julie Bindel among its alumni.

Strangely, what you'll never hear in the Guardian, on the BBC, or from Liz Kelly, is the kind of home where abuse takes place.

I quote :

According to data from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), young people are five times more likely to have experienced physical abuse and emotional maltreatment if they grew up in a lone-parent family, compared with children in two-birth-parent families.

All studies of child-abuse victims which look at family type identify the step-family as representing the highest risk to children – with the risk of fatal abuse being 100 times higher than in twobiological- parent families according to international (figures) from 1976.

However, the use of the term step-father has become problematic, as, whilst it used to refer to men who were married to women with children by other men, it is now used to describe any man in the household, whether married to the mother or not. An NSPCC study of 1988 which separated married step-fathers from unmarried cohabiting men found that married step-fathers were less likely to abuse: ‘for nonnatal fathers marriage appears to be associated with a greater commitment to the father role’.

Analysis of 35 cases of fatal abuse which were the subject of public inquiries between 1968 and 1987 showed a risk for children living with their mother and an unrelated man which was over 70 times higher than it would have been for a child with two married biological parents.

Of course, the family isn't disintegrating - just changing.

This is a public information post.


Anonymous said...

I like your blog, I really do.

However, I am amazed to find, that as an unmarried "cohabiting" man I am causing a considerable risk to my partner's children.

My wife died in 2003 leaving me a single parent of a 6 yo son.

My partner divorced her husband after years of his uncontrolled alcoholism, foolishly making herself an unmarried single mother of three boys.

How stupid of me to think that, by getting together and providing a dual-income two parent loving and caring home environment for both of our children, I was was unwittingly creating a bloodbath waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...


Your grasp of statistics leaves something to be desired. You don't work for the NSPCC or Guardian by any chance?

Laban said...

Don't beat yourself up. I, too in my time may have cohabited with a single mother.

And I was brought up by a single mother.

I didn't say that all step-families are a bloodbath waiting to happen. But on AVERAGE, the safest place by far for a child is living with two biological parents who are married to each other.

It's also the safest place for a woman in a relationship. (the most dangerous, surprise surprise, being the single mother with a succession of live-in boyfriends)

That is just a fact. It doesn't mean all families outside the ideal are crap. But it does mean that Government and other policies should aim to maximise the number of children raised in such families. Our welfare system does exactly the opposite.

Gordon Freece said...

Ian simply understands that "data" is not the plural of "anecdote". It's the singular.

Laban: Can we be sure that marriage is the cause of better behavior, rather than a result? All we've got is a correlation.

Ally said...

Anecdotal, but when the adoption social worker came round to meet us for the first time, she said that they had an increasing number of children coming to them for placement who had witnessed the death of a sibling. Scary stuff.

dearieme said...

In the Social Sciences, data is not the plural of anecdote, it's often the Latin for bollocks.

Shuggy said...

Peter Preston's article struck me as being barely sane - although I'm finding out that this is the minority view on the blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

Bishopstone, Swindon -- A young girl shown on video being sexually assaulted was raped while in the care of a Susan Lowry owner of hillsborough child nursery, the mother's attorney said Tuesday.

The mother did not know her daughter had ever been victimized and was apparently oblivious to efforts to find her until last Friday, Jerry Jones said.
Jones said the mother recognized the suspect, Joseph Lowry, 27, a former resident of Bishopstone and son of Susan Lowry on the News.
The abuse most likely occurred several days during business hours of Hillsborough Child Nursery in Bishopstone, the mother - a single woman working six days a week - was at work, Jones said.
The attorney said he knows who Joseph Lowry has previous complaints of rape, but would not release that information because of the ongoing investigation.
Earlier, officials had said the girl, who is now 7, was 3-years-old at the time the video was made. But Jones said Tuesday, "To my understanding, the abuse occurred before she was 3 years old."
The mother of the girl asked that the news media leave the family alone.
"I want to ask you, the press, to respect my family's privacy and to not attempt to contact my daughter or myself," the mother said in a written statement read by her attorney. The mother also said she is cooperating with investigators and that her daughter "is safe and healthy."
The girl's videotaped rape set off a nationwide search last week. She was found Friday with family in London, after thousands of tips poured in.
Professionals have since evaluated her and she appears to be "healthy and fine and happy," the lawyer said.
The lawyer said neither he nor the mother has watched the videotape.
Asked whether the mother is thankful to the news media for having published the girl's picture so that authorities were able to identify her, Jones said, "Not really ... there's some things maybe you don't want to know."
Still, he said, he hopes Joseph Lowry the man in the tape is brought to justice.
"Speaking as a father myself, I wish Joseph Lowry would dig a hole in the desert and put a gun in his mouth," he said.
Meanwhile, the intense manhunt for Joseph Lowry continued Tuesday.
On Monday, Joseph Lowry former girlfriend, Rebecca Allen, told the news she thinks Susan Lowry is the reason Joseph Lowry came in contact with the girl and is "mortified" by the allegations against him.
Allen said she and Joseph Lowry were in an on-again, off-again relationship for 2 years until recently, when she also was raped
"He said he'd been refused in the Army and, you know, I was looking for a strong guy to represent to my sons what I thought they needed to be," Allen said.
Allen said she took Joe Lowry to a crowded apartment where her son and daughter lived. Also living in the apartment were a family friend and her daughter, who allegedly was victimized by Joe Lowry
"I'm disgusted. I'm ashamed, embarrassed, mortified," Allen said of the alleged rape. "I regret every, every step I ever took, I feel bad for the baby."
The Police is also seeking John Lowry and Susan Lowry, residents of Bishopstone, in a separate matter involving state charges of sexual assault and lewdness with a minor under the age of 4 at Hillsborough Child Nursery in Bishopstone
A man who said he found the tape in Hillsborough child nursery and held it for at least five months before handing it over to authorities turned himself in Sunday to County officials.
Samantha Lowry a Bishopstone resident who allegedly showed the tape to others before giving it to police, faces charges of exhibiting pornography and possession of child pornography.