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The process of disclosing child abuse: a study of Swedish Social Services protection in child abuse cases
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2015 (English)In: Child & Family Social Work, ISSN 1365-2206Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This paper presents findings from a study of judgements concerning 137 children (13–18 years) where protection by the Swedish Social Services was applied for. The paper explores the disclosure of physical, sexual and emotional child abuse including experiences of domestic violence and the process following a disclosure. A central finding is that the majority of children (71%) could be described as having intentionally disclosed the abuse. The findings also suggest that many of the children had come a long way in an emotional and cognitive process before the decision to disclose, and that disclosure was often made in conjunction with a decision to leave the alleged abusers. These findings support previous research suggesting children's intentional disclosure as an important predictor of decisions regarding alternative care. Another finding is that the process following the disclosure was described by the children as intensely challenging with active pressure and threats from relatives and feelings of fear, guilt and ambivalence. These findings have implications for both practice and research on how the safeguarding system can help children in the process of disclosure and protect those who do disclose.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
adolescence, child abuse, child protection, domestic violence, emotional abuse, social work
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124879DOI: 10.1111/cfs.12245OAI: diva2:891142
Available from: 2016-01-05 Created: 2016-01-05 Last updated: 2016-09-16

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Linell, Hanna
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