A sexual abuse case study: Children's memories and reports
2007 (English)In: Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, ISSN 1321-8719, E-ISSN 1934-1687, Vol. 14, no 1, 120-129 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The present study examines how children, who had been exposed to a single act of sexual abuse carried out by an unfamiliar perpetrator (the same perpetrator in all cases), remembered and reported on the abuse in subsequent police interviews. Interviews with eight children were analysed with regard to the amount and type of information reported, and the number of times the children denied the sexual abuse. Documentation of the abuse (photographs and medical examinations) was analysed to verify that abuse had actually occurred. The majority of the children reported no, or very few, sexual details. Of all the event details reported, 7.6% referred to sexual acts and, in specific descriptions of the course of the sexual abuse, only 21% of the details were of a sexual nature. In addition, the youngest children expressed to the interviewer on almost 100 occasions that they did not wish to talk about the abuse. The present data indicate that children display difficulties when reporting on sexual abuse, even when the perpetrator is a stranger (i.e., when factors such as loyalty conflicts, dependence on the abuser, fear of negative consequences for the family may be excluded).
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 14, no 1, 120-129 p.
disclosure, amnesia, events, trauma, tell
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-55243DOI: 10.1375/pplt.14.1.120ISI: 000253711000013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-55243DiVA: diva2:402425
authorCount :32011-03-082011-03-072011-03-08Bibliographically approved