How Child Victims Respond to Perpetrators of Sexual Abuse
Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Vol. 61, pp. S55-S63, 2009
21 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2010
Date Written: September 6, 2010
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: Suggested Citation