Abuse of Children and Adolescent: A Study in the City of São Bento do Una, PE, Brazil

Ana Flávia GRANVILLE-GARCIA, Maria Jackeline Freitas SILVA, Valdenice Aparecida de MENEZES

Abstract


Objective: To investigate the incidence of abuse of children and adolescents registered in the Guardianship Council of the city of São Bento do Una, PE, Brazil, between 2000 and 2006 as well as to evaluate the knowledge of this fact by the health professionals.
Method: Twenty dentists, six physicians and twenty-two nurses were interviewed by means of a structured standard form.
Results: Negligence was the most common type of mistreatment registered in the Guardianship Council. Most interviewed professionals affirmed to be aware of this fact (85.4%) and considered themselves as able to identify its occurrence (66.7%). Most interviewees would not fail to report a case of abuse to avoid an involvement with the Guardianship Council. As much as 83.3% of the professionals would report a child abuse to the authorities, and the Guardianship Council was the most frequently mentioned governmental organ to which they would report a suspicious cases (94.9%). Little more than half of the participants (52.1%) stated that they knew the most common signs and symptoms of abuse and there was a significant difference among the groups regarding this subject (p<0.05). The most mentioned signs and symptoms were: depression (84.0%) and bruises/injuries over the body (32.0%). Most of them did not know how to document a case of abuse (83%), had never received instructions on how to do it (72.9%), but would like to have more information on how to proceed (95.4%).
Conclusion: The interviewed professionals are not prepared to identify cases of abuse of children and adolescents. Preventive educational campaigns are required with emphasis on the need of reporting to the legal authorities and preventing each and every kind of abuse.

Keywords


Crianças; Violência doméstica; Profissionais de saúde; Children; Domestic violence; Health professionals.



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4034/pboci.v8i3.444

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