Preventing Child Abuse and Reducing Violence

Reflections of a Criminologist


Professor Kevin Haines


Seminar - Oral Presentation


24 August 2018


Preventing Child Abuse and Reducing Violence: Reflections of a Criminologist


In this presentation I will provide the reflections of a criminologist on child abuse. An outline will be presented on how a criminologist might go about thinking about serious crimes against children and how to respond to them. Three main points: 1) filicide in the UK, 2) notions of prediction and 3) deciding how to respond. Addressing filicide in the UK is useful to the extent that it helps to contextualize rates of filicide in other countries – what can appear abnormal might, in fact, be quite common. It is then essential to address notions of predictions and risk factor analysis – largely because any form of prediction is fraught with difficulty and cost. Finally, it is crucial to explore the extent to which formal, official responses to rare tragedies are inevitably fixed (and usually repressive) or whether there is scope for choice.


The key learning outcome from this presentation is for participants to reflect upon their own thinking, their established ways of thinking, in the light of new information and to begin to reformulate their approach to serious child mistreatment.