The "geography" of child maltreatment in Israel: Findings from a national data set of cases reported to the social services

Asher Ben-Arieh*, Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: This article examines the "geography" of reported cases of child maltreatment in Israel by determining its frequency and rates according to nationality, area of residence, and size and type of locality. Method: The study collected data at the local level in Israel based on reports to social services of cases of child maltreatment during 2000; locality is the unit of analysis. Results: The rate of reported cases of child maltreatment was 17.8 per 1,000 children in Israel in 2000. The rates varied, however, among different localities. They were lower in Arab localities (9 per 1,000 children) than in the Jewish ones (20 per 1,000), higher in large cities and other socioeconomic affluent localities (19 per 1,000), and varied according to the geographic area. Conclusions: This study demonstrates considerable variation in rates of reported cases of child maltreatment by locality and by population makeup. Thus, to fulfill the Israeli legislation of mandatory reporting of any reasonable suspicion of child maltreatment, the state should better develop policies and services that encourage reporting of child maltreatment among the Arab and ultraorthodox populations and in smaller or socioeconomic disadvantaged localities. Furthermore, the social services must build a bridge to the minority populations in Israel, developing their trust in these services and increasing their propensity to use them.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)991-1003
Number of pages13
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume30
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006

Keywords

  • "Social-geography"
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Child maltreatment
  • Child protection services

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