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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 155734 Find in a Library
Title: Tipping the Balance to Tell the Secret: The Public Discovery of Child Sexual Abuse
Author(s): L D Sas; A H Cunningham
Corporate Author: Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 201
Sponsoring Agency: Canada National Clearinghouse of Family Violence, Health and Welfare
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1B5, Canada
Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System
London, Ontario N6A 5P6, Canada
Contract Number: 4887-05-92-017
Publication Number: ISBN 1-895953-02-2
Sale Source: Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System
London Family Court Clinic, Inc.
200-254 Pall Mall Street
Suite 200
London, Ontario N6A 5P6,
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: The discovery by police of the sexual abuse of children is explored.
Abstract: This publication is a study of 524 cases of child sexual abuse which were prosecuted in Middlesex County, Ontario between 1988 and 1993. The purpose of the study was to examine the process whereby the sexual abuse of children and adolescents comes to the attention of authorities. In most cases, this involves a child disclosure. In addition to collecting file information on each of the 524 cases, 135 children and adolescents were interviewed after the completion of the prosecution. The information was used to devise a model of disclosure, using a metaphorical scale. Inhibitors of disclosure were identified which could be weighed to prevent the child from telling, and facilitators were identified which could encourage disclosure. This information was used to make comments on existing prevention programs and recommend or suggest additional prevention strategies. Demographic information concerning the children also was obtained including their relationship to their abusers, what happened to the abusers, and how they were disclosed. The children's opinions of the role of school-based abuse prevention programs in their reactions to the sexual abuse are presented. Directions for future research are suggested.
Main Term(s): Victims of Crime
Index Term(s): Abused children; Canada; Child abuse; Child abuse and neglect hearings; Child abuse prevention; Child abuse reporting; Courts; Ontario
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