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Many require new skills to navigate a new social and cultural system.Furthermore, immigrant families may be isolated, and isolation, along with the stressors, increases these families' vulnerability to child maltreatment and other problems .The increase in industrialization and urbanization of the early 20th century resulted in heightened crime, poverty, and social disorganization, all of which affected children.As a consequence, social reforms targeted to children, such as child labor restrictions and compulsory education laws, began to emerge .Finally, when addressing child abuse with racial and ethnic minority families, practitioners should be knowledgeable about various cultures, values, and belief systems in order to formulate interventions that are culturally sensitive and competent .
Despite these trends, the literature examining child abuse in immigrant and ethnic minority families is quite minimal when compared to the larger picture of child abuse/maltreatment research.
For example, boys were protected from forced sodomy, and girls younger than 10 years of age were protected from forcible rape .
In the late 1890s, Sigmund Freud began seeing patients, many of whom were women and described memories of sexual abuse during their childhoods.
Freud dismissed these as fantasies rooted in female psychopathology .
Freud's speculations contributed to later concerns about the reliability of sexual abuse reports .