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NCJ Number: 151336 Find in a Library
Title: Opinions on the Traumatizing Effects of Child Sexual Abuse: Evidence for Consensus
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:18  Issue:9  Dated:(September 1994)  Pages:725-738
Author(s): C Davenport; K Browne; R Palmer
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 14
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Professionals, victims, and university students in the United Kingdom completed surveyed that determines how they ranked various characteristics associated with child sexual abuse in terms of the severity of their traumatizing effects.
Abstract: The participants included 182 professionals working with child sexual abuse; 393 student nonprofessionals; and 39 persons with eating disorders, including a high proportion of victims of child sexual abuse. They ranked variables within each of five sexual abuse characteristics: (1) the nature of the abusive act, (2) the victim's age, (3) the relationship of the victim to the perpetrator, (4) disclosure, and (5) the method of overcoming the victim's resistance. Results revealed a significant consensus among the three groups in the rank order of characteristics from most to least severe for perceived adverse long-term outcome. Penile penetration, abuse by the father, lack of familial support following disclosure, overt physical force, and abuse of trust were regarded as the most traumatizing characteristics. The participants' gender, social class, or past sexual abuse experience had no significant effect on this consensus. Findings indicated that professional, nonprofessional, and psychiatric patient opinions on child sexual abuse severity are consistent and coincide with clinical observations and empirical evidence. The findings suggest that a shared consensus on the traumatic effects of child sexual abuse characteristics is important for the therapeutic process and may prove useful as a guideline for the assessment of severity in cases of child sexual abuse. Tables and 61 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Crime in foreign countries; Offense characteristics; Offense classification; Psychological victimization effects; Sexual assault trauma; Victim attitudes
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