Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

How Child Victims Respond to Perpetrators of Sexual Abuse

Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Vol. 61, pp. S55-S63, 2009

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/86

21 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2010  

Rita Shackel

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: September 6, 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: child sexual abuse, child victims' behaviour, response to perpetrators

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30, K32

Suggested Citation

Shackel, Rita, How Child Victims Respond to Perpetrators of Sexual Abuse (September 6, 2010). Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Vol. 61, pp. S55-S63, 2009; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/86. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1673010

Rita Shackel (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Paper statistics

Downloads
144
Rank
170,560
Abstract Views
687