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NCJ Number: 149891 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse: Which Cases Are Accepted?
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:18  Issue:8  Dated:(August 1994)  Pages:663-677
Author(s): T P Cross; E De Vos; D Whitcomb
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
US Dept of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC 20447
Grant Number: 87-MC-CX-0026; 90CA1368; 90CA1450
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the relationship of case characteristics, maternal support, and child psychopathology to acceptance of child sexual abuse cases for prosecution.
Abstract: Cases referred to prosecutors' offices over a 1-year period in four urban jurisdictions (n=431) were analyzed, and a smaller sample of mothers and children (n=289) were interviewed as well. The Child Behavior Checklist-Parent form, a well-established behavioral checklist for obtaining parent reports, was administered to caretakers of the children. Background characteristics of the perpetrator and victim, severity of abuse, and nature of available evidence were all significantly related to acceptance for prosecution. Specific independent predictors of acceptance were victim age, presence of oral-genital abuse, use or threat of force, duration of abuse, and presence of physical or eyewitness evidence. With other variables controlled, maternal support was higher and child internalizing psychopathology lower in accepted cases. The results are interpreted in terms of prosecutors' concern for serving justice and protecting children as well as their perceptions of their ability to prosecute cases successfully. 5 tables and 27 references
Main Term(s): Child victims
Index Term(s): Case processing; Child Sexual Abuse; Court procedures; Juveniles; Prosecution; Prosecutorial discretion
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