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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220475 Find in a Library
Title: Mandatory Reporting of Childhood Sexual Abuse in Israel: What Happens After the Report?
Journal: Journal of Child Sexual Abuse  Volume:16  Issue:4  Dated:2007  Pages:1-22
Author(s): Sheri Oz; Dorit Balshan
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 22
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study outlined issues of mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse, and the inconsistency of post-report interventions in Israel on children and their families.
Abstract: This paper suggests amendments to the mandatory reporting laws in Israel to better protect all children from sexual exploitation while providing consistent and expert professional intervention. Although studies have been conducted regarding the impact of mandated reporting laws on professionals, there is a scarcity of research exploring the impact on families and children affected by mandated reporting. There are several problems regarding mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse in Israel, namely the differences between sexual abuse and other forms of abuse that need to be addressed; far fewer allegations of sexual abuse are substantiated in a court of law than physical abuse or neglect. The tendency of some countries to advocate legal interventions for sexual abuse and therapeutic interventions for other forms of abuse may stem from emotional reactions to sexual abuse rather than the effectiveness of the legal approach. Therefore, sexual abuse should be dealt with using a separate law geared to handle the special nature of sexual abuse that warrants unique expertise on the part of the professional involved, namely an amendment to the law that requires reporting of all cases of suspected sexual abuse regardless of the age of the abuser and the relationship with the victim. So that the mandatory reporting can be an instrument of change, the separate law should clearly stipulate the procedures to be followed after the report has been made and should state the minimal qualifications of an expert in the field of sexual abuse. Future research should include two major issues: the factors associated with disclosure of abuse and the child’s expectations, and the consequences of the disclosure for both the child and family members upon implementation of the ensuing legal and/or clinical interventions, including possible differential effects over the long and short terms. Figure, references
Main Term(s): Israel; Legislation; Youth (Under 15)
Index Term(s): Child abuse treatment; Child Sexual Abuse
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