Australian Institute of Criminology

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The spatial clustering of child maltreatment: are micro-social environments involved?

Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 119

Tony Vinson and Eileen Baldry
ISBN 0 642 24112 0 ISSN 0817-8542
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, June 1999

Abstract

Children are vulnerable to maltreatment, and understanding the social environment within which that maltreatment occurs is one step towards developing preventive measures. This paper shows that instances of maltreatment are clustered by variables such as neighbourhood cohesion, the levels of trust and distrust within neighbourhoods and the value people place on local friendships. The study shows that professionals can often identify areas of risk, and outlines proposals for relevant community building strategies that can limit child maltreatment.