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Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

Societies for the prevention of cruelty to children (SPCCs) first emerged in North America and Europe at the end of the 19th century. These private, charitable organizations represented the first major social interventions into the problem of child abuse and neglect, defining the concept of cruelty to children in ways that had lasting effects. This entry examines the history of the SPCCs and their structures and mandates.

History of the SPCC

While laws and organizations for the protection of animals had been in place in the United Kingdom and the United States since the beginning of to the mid-19th century, the relatively late development of protection societies for children can be seen as the result of changing narratives of childhood: Children were ostensibly represented under the ...

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