Child abuse, mental health, mandatory reporting law
Tahiroglu, A.; Avci, A. and Cekin, N. (2008) Child abuse, mental health, mandatory reporting law. Anatolian Journal of Psychiatry, 9 (1). pp. 1-7. ISSN 1302-6631
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Objective: The aims of the present study were to present the follow-up findings of abuse cases whose legal reporting procedures initiated by clinicians, to inform about the way of legal reporting procedures and to discuss this subject from legal, ethical and treatment point of views. Methods: Sixteen abuse cases whose legal reporting procedure was initiated by physicians were included in the study. Data were gathered from patient file records, retrospectively. Findings: The causes for the legal reporting were sexual abuse in 81.3% (n=13), neglect in 18.8% (n=3), physical abuse in 6.3% (n=1) and emotional abuse in 6.3% (n=1) of the cases. Among these cases, 33.8% (n=7) were dislodged from the milieu of abuse, where as 81.3% (n=13) of them were taken under custodial care of social services. There was not any follow-up information about 18.8% (n=3) of the cases, 81.3% (n=13) of cases have been treated for their psychiatric symptoms. Conclusion: On the contrary of the anticipation of many people, legal reporting procedures may be useful for most of the abuse cases. The law for mandatory reporting of abuse and the ways of legal procedures should be considered and included in general medical curriculum. Clinical studies including large samples are warranted in this issue to reflect the exact nature of the abuse in society.
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