Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 35 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2011 Pages: 50-57
This study explored sexually abused children's experiences with the legal process.
The study found that sexually abused children involved in the legal process experienced a feeling of not being believed about their abuse; experienced feelings of anxiety, dread, or even terror when having to describe their abuse; felt they were not given sufficient support from professionals involved in the legal process; believed that treatment/therapy for the perpetrators was important and that imprisonment was desirable; and felt that they had been treated with disrespect by both the lawyers and the media. This study explored sexually abused children's experiences with the legal process, including being questioned by the police during the preliminary investigation, by lawyers and prosecutors in the courtroom, and dealing with other professionals from various agencies. Data were obtained from in-depth face-to-face interviews with 10 adolescents (9 girls and 1 boy) between the ages of 9 and 15 who were victims of child sexual abuse (CSA). The study found that children who are victims of CSA want to be active and equal participants in the legal process, and that the quality of psychological care and support for these children from the legal system needs to be improved. Table and references
Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority
Box 470, 901 09 UMEÅ
United States of America