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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97372 Find in a Library
Title: Law Enforcement and Child Sexual Abuse (From Handbook of Clinical Intervention in Child Sexual Abuse, P 309-333, 1982, by Suzanne M Sgroi - See NCJ-97363)
Author(s): P A Graves; S M Sgroi
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Sale Source: Lexington Books
866 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A police official explains the elements of child sexual abuse crimes; describes police investigation of these cases; shows how evidence collected by the police leads to decisions for arrest and prosecution; and urges improved cooperation between police, prosecutors, and helping professionals.
Abstract: Law enforcenemt officers must analyze the specific elements of sexually abusive behavior to determine whether a crime has been committed. Factors considered are the participants' ages, the participants' relationship, the type of sexual behavior, the degree of force used, corroboration, evidence of child pornography, and evidence of violation of broader statutes regarding the treatment of minors. The investigation aims not only to gather evidence but also to preserve the victim's physical and emotional well-being. The factors that determine how the investigation will begin are the elapsed time from the incident, the location and nature of the sexual assult, and the participants' relationship. The timing and location of the interview with the victim are important, as is, in some cases, the presence of a person the victim knows and trusts. Police officers must keep their supervisors informed about the investigation and not decide by themselves whether there is probable cause to make an arrest. Issues to be considered are the setting of bond, the use of restraining orders, and child custody orders. Police and helping services professionals must work together in these cases and must recognize each other's responsibilities. Unfortunately, barriers have inhibited this cooperation. Nevertheless, effective approaches have been found to deal with issues of confidentiality, accountability, treatment, investigation, court appearance, and followup. Creating a community-based offender treatment program that is a humane alternative to incarceration is a crucial element in effective treatments. Five references are listed.
Index Term(s): Child abuse investigations; Child Sexual Abuse; Interagency cooperation; Police-social worker cooperation
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