Medical evidence in child sexual assault cases

Lewis, Tiffany and Klettke, Bianca 2012, Medical evidence in child sexual assault cases, Journal of criminal psychology, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 140-152.

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Title Medical evidence in child sexual assault cases
Author(s) Lewis, Tiffany
Klettke, Bianca
Journal name Journal of criminal psychology
Volume number 2
Issue number 2
Start page 140
End page 152
Total pages 13
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Place of publication Bingley, England
Publication date 2012
ISSN 2009-3829
Keyword(s) child sexual abuse
chldren (age groups)
medical evidence
Summary Purpose – Previous studies suggest that the presence of medical evidence is rare in child sexual assault (CSA) cases, and if present at all, such evidence is unlikely to identify a specific assailant. This study aims to examine the role medical evidence plays in criminal cases of CSA. Specifically, the prevalence of medical evidence in CSA cases, its impact on decisions to prosecute CSA cases, as well as its effect on conviction rates are examined.

Design/methodology/approach –
A systematic literature review was conducted on the impact of medical evidence in criminal child sexual abuse (CSA) cases.

Findings – The results of the review suggest medical evidence increases the likelihood of prosecution; however the impact of medical evidence on conviction rate is equivocal.

Research limitations/implications – The implications of these findings for legal and psychological practice, government policy and future areas for academic research are discussed.

Originality/value –
To the authors' knowledge, no other review has systematically examined the role of medical evidence on the prosecution and conviction of CSA cases.
Language eng
Field of Research 170104 Forensic Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Emerald Group Publishing
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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