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Comparison of Re-abuse Rates by Different Definitions of Child Maltreatment Recurrence

Jeonghyun Kim | Institute of Social Welfare, Seoul National University

Sang Gyun Lee | Department of Social Welfare, the Catholic University of Korea

Bong Joo Lee| Department of Social Welfare, Seoul National University

Joo ok Kim | Institute of Social Welfare, Seoul National University

Cheong-ah Lee | Institute of Social Welfare, Seoul National University

Joan. P. Yoo | Department of Social Welfare, Seoul National University

Hyun-Soo Kim | Department of Child Psychotherapy, Hanyang university


ABSTRACT

This study examined the operational definitions of child maltreatment recurrence by reviewing Korean and foreign literature and national statistics. We compared the characteristics of various calculation methods and recurrence rates of child maltreatment according to their standards. In this study, the criteria for calculating recurrence rates of child maltreatment were (a) whether the same perpetrator has re-abused the same child within five years (applied in Korean national statistics on child abuse); (b) whether the child victim has been re-abused within five years, regardless of the perpetrator; and (c) whether child maltreatment recurs within one year of receipt of the initial report. For comparative analysis, we employed data of the Korean Child Protective Services (CPS) from 2012 to 2020, examined errors existing in the database, and selected the data for final analysis through a rigorous pre-processing process. The results of the analysis showed that the current child maltreatment recurrence rate for the same child victim/perpetrator was 8.0%-11.3% annually, and this rate based solely on the child victim was 11.5%-21.7%, approximately twice that of the same child victim/perpetrator. We examined differences in children's characteristics across standards by age, gender, relationship to the perpetrator, type of abuse, and receipt of National Basic Likelihood Security, and we discussed these differences according to the calculation criteria. When calculating the recurrence rates of child maltreatment for the same child victim/perpetrator, we included the re-abuse rate only when it was a single perpetrator and either the child's father or mother. Thus, if the father and mother perpetrated the abuse at different intervals, this excluded them from the recurrence of child maltreatment. The results of the comparitive analysis of groups of parental perpetrators showed thatthe father's re-abuse rate was 31.4%, that of the mother was 22.1%, and that of both parents was 38.4%. Our results indicate that there is a need to reconsider the definitions of child maltreatment recurrence and initiate a practical discussion on child protection services.


KEYWORDS

Child Maltreatment Recurrence, Recurrence Rate, Perpetrator Recidivism, Child Revictimization


Journal of the Korean society of child welfare, 71:1, 33-60,