The role of public health in addressing child maltreatment in Canada.
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Child maltreatment is a significant health and social issue given its prevalence across the general population and the significant short- and long-term outcomes associated with maltreatment in childhood. There is a need for a comprehensive, collaborative and multisectoral approach for identification, prevention and intervention of this complex issue. Within this multisectoral collaboration, it is essential for public health in Canada to define its role in addressing and preventing child maltreatment. This commentary summarizes how public health can address the issue of child maltreatment in Canada by specifically: 1) measuring the magnitude of maltreatment through public health surveillance systems such as the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect; 2) identifying modifiable risk factors; 3) identifying and evaluating community-based interventions to prevent violence; and 4) implementing evidence-based primary prevention strategies.
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