Child Abuse in Cultural Diversity Context, comment


Our hospital is located in one of the country’s largest immigration and refugee processing centers. To date, our language assistant coordinator has estimated over 30 different languages or dialects are currently being used throughout our local community. We had to change our Interpreter Policy a few years back following an incident that involved a child. A woman came into the ER with her thirteen year old daughter. She had severe abdominal pain, n/v, pelvic tenderness and was bleeding heavily. She did not speak or understand English. A call was placed to our language assistant coordinator, but it would be some time before assistance would arrive. Suspecting the woman was miscarrying, the doctors and nurses questioned the child -who did speak English as a secondary language. They asked pertinent medical questions in regards to their physical assessment findings. A few days later, our coordinator was contacted by a staff member from the local refugee center explaining that when the child went home that night she was severely beaten by her father. By discussing her mother’s personal medical history, the child had shamed the family. Her culture did not allow for children – certainly not females- to discuss topics that could be termed as sexual, regardless of the circumstances. The policy has since been updated and we can only gather information from a minor sixteen years old or older. We are to use children under 18 only in emergent situations. We need to be cognitive of the fact that even though we have rights and laws in our country – that once that front door closes at night, the laws and customs of the native country’s often prevail.

Original Post
June 4, 2009
Title: Child abuse in Cultural Diversity Context
While studying the chapter on cultural diversity, it made more sense to elaborate on some aspects of cultural diversity which still has a fine line between child abuse and cultural practice. One significant area is the right of African culture where parents make use of spanking as a means of corrective action or discipline. In Nigeria for instance, spanking takes the form of stroking with sticks, ruler or any linear object. Blending this tradition into the American context is another issue altogether. Law enforcement in America sees this type of traditional practice as child abuse and often send social services and child protective cases after parents. Many African families are in dilemma as to how to raise their children when it comes to drawing the line between discipline and child abuse. On observation so far, many families are forced to send their children back to Africa where the society upholds the saying "spare the rod and spoil the child". In recent social gatherings, African families are still debating over this controversy. They believe that the end result is better off if the parents spank the children rather than have the children sent to juvenile camps when their actions get criminal or turns into felonies. They often cite examples from the Bible as the foundation of wisdom and authority when it comes to raising responsible children in today’s society.

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