A new book by two University of Lynchburg professors provides parents and students with a comprehensive understanding of child abuse and the legal system.
Dr. Kimberly McCabe, chair of the criminology department, authored Child Abuse: Today’s Issues with criminology instructor Daniel Murphy, a former police officer whose specialty included investigations of child abuse cases. The book was published in December.
Although one of Dr. McCabe’s previous four books addressed the topic of child abuse, the new book examines contemporary problems that have made the issue more complex. “We’ve had such a change the last 10 years in terms of technology and child trafficking,” she said. “This book talks about traditional abuse, but also talks about new things going on.”
According to the book’s publisher, CRC Press, the book explores child abuse “from a contemporary perspective in terms of its multiple elements, victims, and criminal justice responses.” It provides details about the general profile of modern abusers and the conditions they take advantage of to perpretrate their crimes. It outlines the long-term consequences that child abuse has on its victims and explains ways that the criminal justice system responds to abuse in the United States and internationally.
Murphy said that many of the scenarios described in the book come from actual cases he investigated, with names and a few details changed to protect the identities of victims involved. “I wanted to make sure that people can have an understanding of child abuse,” he said. “I have a passion for this topic because I worked on quite a few of those cases, and I’ve seen the devastation it can cause.”
Murphy hopes other colleges will use the book to help them offer courses about child abuse; according to research he has conducted with a student in LC’s Criminal Justice Leadership master’s degree program, most colleges do not offer entire courses that analyze child abuse from the standpoint of criminal justice.
Dr. McCabe also recently completed a book about internet crimes against children, which will be published in 2017.