Crime Texas doctor seeks to stop child abuse before it can happen
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FORT WORTH, Texas — A Texas doctor believes a modeling system that's successfully identified neighborhoods, streets and even specific businesses where shootings and other crimes are likely to occur can help stop child abuse and neglect before it happens.
Dyann Daley started a nonprofit this summer to help communities create maps that can zero in on areas as small as a few city blocks where such maltreatment is likeliest to happen, helping prevent it before it starts and allowing advocacy groups to better focus their limited resources.
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"This approach is really focused on prevention," said Daley, a pediatric anesthesiologist. "Because if you know where something is going to happen, then you can do something to stop it."
Unlike the common hot spot mapping approach, which identifies high-frequency areas of child abuse and neglect based on cases that have already happened, Daley's risk terrain modeling approach identifies other factors that indicate an area is fertile ground for abuse so that efforts can be made to head it off. Such prevention can not only save lives, it can help at-risk children avoid the often lifelong harmful effects of maltreatment, including a likelihood of alcohol and drug abuse, depression and anxiety, and risk of aggressive or criminal behavior.
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It can be scary for children if people are really direct. When I was about thirteen a doctor asked me whether I was sexually active. It happened to me 8. Telling doesn’t necessarily stop the abuse . A small number of survivors told of their abuse before they reached adulthood.
"Hot spots tell you where past crimes have occurred, but don't explain why," said Joel Caplan, one of two Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice professors who created. He said hot spot mapping also assumes that crimes will continue to occur in the same location.
Risk terrain modeling was initially used to understand why shootings were happening time and again at certain locations. Caplan said it has since been used in variety of areas, including traffic planning and suicides, but that Daley's work is the first he knows of to apply it to child maltreatment.
The modeling has helped police departments across the country identify areas to target and what strategies to use to reduce certain crimes. He said a project in Atlantic City found laundromats, convenience stores and vacant properties were high risk locations for shootings and robberies. Interventions this year included police regularly checking in at the convenience stores and city officials prioritizing efforts to clean up vacant lots and board up vacant properties near those convenience stores and laundromats. He said results for the first five months show a 20 percent reduction in violent crimes.
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"It gives us an idea of which risk factors we should focus on if we want to make the biggest impact, and that's something you can't do with hot spot mapping," Daley said.
Daley adapted the modeling for Fort Worth as executive director of the, a post she left in May before starting her nonprofit, .
After using the model to analyze 10 known risk factors for child abuse and neglect, she found the most predictive risk factors for child maltreatment in Fort Worth were incidents of domestic violence, runaways, aggravated assaults and sexual assaults. Perhaps surprisingly, when poverty was removed as a factor the model's predictive accuracy improved, said Daley, adding that the most influential risk factors may change depending on the city, especially for rural versus urban areas.
The next step is determining what prevention strategies work. Daley said success will be measured by reductions in child abuse and highly correlative risk factors including violent crime, domestic violence and teen pregnancy.
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A total of 18 people were convicted of sexually abusing women and girls as young as 15.<br>One woman and 17 men were convicted of or admitted to charges including rape, supplying drugs and inciting prostitution in a series of trials that ended this week at Newcastle Crown Court in northeast England.
Abuse can happen to all kinds of kids, no matter where they live or how much money their families have. “What will happen to the person who hurt me if I tell?” An adult who hurts children needs special help to learn to stop .
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