How Child Victims Respond to Perpetrators of Sexual Abuse
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
September 6, 2010
Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Vol. 61, pp. S55-S63, 2009
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/86
This article reviews the findings of psychological research on how sexually victimised children “typically” respond to the offender and compares the findings of this research to generally held adult expectations of child victim's behaviour. This analysis reveals that adult expectations of child victims' responses are often inconsistent with the findings of relevant empirical research. This suggests that many adults, despite a greater societal awareness and understanding of child sexual abuse generally, may still continue to be poorly informed about the behaviour of sexually abused children and the underlying dynamics of such abuse. Consequently, in a forensic context, decision-makers in child sexual assault cases may unfairly rely on misconceived beliefs about how child victims respond to sexual abuse in evaluating such cases.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: child sexual abuse, child victims' behaviour, response to perpetrators
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30, K32Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 7, 2010
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