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By Silence Betrayed: Sexual Abuse of Children in America

NCJ Number
J Crewdson
Date Published
267 pages
This volume uses detailed accounts of individual cases, together with findings from interviews with perpetrators and victims of child sexual abuse, criminal justice personnel, mental health professionals, and researchers, to analyze the nature, incidence, causes, and societal responses to the problem of child sexual abuse.
The text considers the factors that make someone an abuser, whether pedophiles can be cured of their attraction to children, how sex crimes can be fairly and successfully prosecuted, and what preventive measures can be taken. The analysis notes that as many as one-third of Americans have been abused as children, that most abusers were themselves abused, that most abusers are people the child knows and trusts, and that the growth of paid child care has expanded the field of opportunity for pedophiles. It also examines the response of the justice system to victims and offenders, noting that the legal system can make children feel guilty for the crimes of others. Detailed accounts are provided of the McMartin Preschool case in Los Angeles and the 'child swapping' case in Jordan, Minn. Recommendations for prevention and other measures, chapter notes, and index.