The Smallest Victims


By Herbert C. Covey

cover image of The Smallest Victims

Sign up to save your library

With an OverDrive account, you can save your favorite libraries for at-a-glance information about availability. Find out more about OverDrive accounts.

   Not today

Find this title in Libby, the library reading app by OverDrive.

app-store-button-en.svg play-store-badge-en.svg

Search for a digital library with this title

Title found at these libraries:


When child maltreatment occurs, it strikes chords in our hearts because we sense the terrible injustice inherent in the matter: children are innocent and not able to protect themselves. This book provides readers with an overview of how perceptions of child maltreatment have changed over the years and how the American child protection system has evolved to keep pace with them, revealing the historical origins of current child protection issues and surveying efforts to find solutions.

The Smallest Victims is unique in stressing the subjective and relative nature of the social construction of child maltreatment as it includes abuse and neglect. It identifies historical social factors and links them to perceptions of child maltreatment and responses to it. How maltreatment was once perceived in pre-American and American societies, for example, has had significant implications on the reactions it elicited, from tolerance to outrage.

The book devotes a chapter to the exploitation of children in the labor market and as sexual victims, timely subjects given the national interest in human trafficking. Other chapters explore state intervention in family affairs and when children are removed from their homes. The book also includes a detailed timeline that denotes critical milestones since antiquity.

The Smallest Victims