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Childhood: It Should Not Hurt!    by Claire Reeves order for
by Claire Reeves
Order:  USA  Can
LTI Publishing, 2003 (2003)
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

This is a most troubling book. It informs us that 'The latest statistics released from the Department of Justice tell us that one out of three girls and one out of four boys will be sexually violated one or more times before reaching age eighteen'; that 'According to a 1993 Los Angeles Times survey, more than fifty-eight million American women are adult survivors of incest and child sexual abuse. The enormity of that number is staggering ... when you consider that the article only mentioned female victims ... it is almost unbelievable' and that 'Over 85% of the perpetrators are adults the child knows and trusts'! Here is the most frightening statistic of all: 'over 50% of the children whose parents are involved in Family and Dependency custody cases are returned to the sole custody of the parent accused of abuse'!! Again, unbelievable, and unconscionable.

All of the above are direct quotes from Claire Reeves' book, Childhood : It Should Not Hurt!, written by a caring, responsible, and very alarmed woman. After reading this short volume, I can understand her alarm and the desire to do something about it. Her accounts of the court system returning children to an abusive parent makes one understand why a parent might choose to flee into the underground, breaking the law and all ties with family and friends. This book should be required reading for every lawyer and judge, as well as all parents, social service workers, doctors, therapists, and any one else connected to abused children. This is not easy reading. When I see the statistics, I realize how very lucky I was not to have been abused as a child, and I tremble for my grandchildren.

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