Wounded Innocents: The Real Victims of the War Against Child Abuse by Richard Wexler

“The war against child abuse has become a war against children,” charges Wexler, a reporter for the Albany, N.Y., Times Union , in a well-argued, in-depth study of the “child protection system” in the U.S. and the politics that enmesh it. He maintains that even more alarming than the alleged abuses suffered by children at the hands of their parents are the disruption of home life and the long-lasting trauma of minors assigned to institutions and foster homes that are either as bad as or worse than their own families. He asserts also that “witch-hunts” of foster parents suspected of improper conduct and harried supporting care system administrators, at times involving false accusations of sexual abuse, are all too common. While crediting competent, dedicated caseworkers who struggle in an overloaded welfare system, Wexler deplores what he considers misleading statistics and the presumption of parental guilt that underlie much child protection work. Preventive programs, legal measures and financial incentives meant to preserve original families figure in his detailed recommendations for reform.

 – Review by Publishers Weekly


3 thoughts on “Wounded Innocents: The Real Victims of the War Against Child Abuse by Richard Wexler

  1. Hello,
    I have recently had a run in with our local Department of Social Services so I bought Richard Wexler’s book ‘Wounded Innocents’ and am reading it.
    This is a fifteen year old publication and appears to be out of date. Many of the things I’ve ran into and have heard of late makes it appear that things have changed.
    Are you aware of an updated publication that has more current information? My searches always return me to Mr Wexler’s.

    • Richard Wexler’s book contains significant data on historical practices, but I agree with you that it is dated. My experience has been that the problems identified in the book have not necessarily been eradicated, but rather have transmuted into a different form of the same problematic mentality that causes concern. A good way to locate good resources is to search Wexler’s book on Amazon.com. If your interest is in the legal texts, I recommend Jeopardy in the Courtroom: A Scientific Analysis of Children’s Testimony by Stephen Cece. Dr. Cece’s work on the suggestibility of children’s statements is well-known.

  2. I am a victim of Child abuse and sexual abuse. Actually I was locked away in my room and I wasnt allowed to leave. I dont know if you can help me with any information on how to heal. or how to prosicute.

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