Violence of any kind is hard for most people to understand, but crimes against children and crimes committed by children are perhaps the most difficult to comprehend. Child abuse and neglect is a problem with generational effects. Women who were sexually abused in childhood, for example, are more likely than non-abused women to be harsh with their children, withhold affection, or even accept the sexual abuse of their own children by a spouse or lover. Yet children are not always merely the victims of aggression. They also perpetrate violent crimes in the form of bullying, assault, and homicide, as well as crimes on property, such as vandalism. Moffatt addresses the two sides of this cycle of violence, including examples from clinical case studies and treatment options.
Moffatt details crimes against children, ranging from Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, sexual and physical abuse, neglect, filicide, and infanticide. He addresses aggression committed by children against other people, property, and self, including self-mutilation and suicide. Written for both professional and lay audiences, counselors, teachers, psychologists, law enforcement, medical professionals, and therapists will benefit from the psychological discussions about causes and effects of aggression.