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Identifying the characteristics of child sexual abuse cases that exit the criminal justice system before the forensic interview

Christensen, Larissa S., Sharman, Stefanie J. and Powell, Martine B. 2016, Identifying the characteristics of child sexual abuse cases that exit the criminal justice system before the forensic interview, International journal of police science & management, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 104-114, doi: 10.1177/1461355716641973.

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Title Identifying the characteristics of child sexual abuse cases that exit the criminal justice system before the forensic interview
Author(s) Christensen, Larissa S.
Sharman, Stefanie J.ORCID iD for Sharman, Stefanie J. orcid.org/0000-0002-0635-047X
Powell, Martine B.ORCID iD for Powell, Martine B. orcid.org/0000-0001-5092-1308
Journal name International journal of police science & management
Volume number 18
Issue number 2
Start page 104
End page 114
Total pages 11
Publisher Sage
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016-06
ISSN 1461-3557
1478-1603
Summary Most child sexual abuse cases do not result in conviction; rather, they result in attrition at an earlier point in the system. Although research has looked at case characteristics associated with attrition at later stages of the system (i.e. the laying of charges and prosecution stages), to date, no research has studied the case characteristics associated with attrition as soon as a report has been made to authorities. The aim of this study was to determine the case characteristics (child complainant, suspect and additional case characteristics) associated with attrition when a case first enters the criminal justice system before a forensic interview is conducted. All child sexual abuse incidents reported to police in one jurisdiction of Australia in 2011 were examined. Three case characteristics were found to predict attrition: previous disclosure, abuse frequency and the child complainant’s age. Specifically, cases were more likely to result in attrition when the child had not previously disclosed the abuse to an adult, the abuse was a single incident rather than repeated, and a curvilinear relationship was found for child age. Cases involving children aged 7–12 years were less likely to result in attrition than cases involving younger (0–6 years) and older (13–15 years) children. This information should assist professionals and researchers in developing interventions to reduce the attrition when necessary during this early stage of the criminal justice system.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/1461355716641973
Field of Research 170104 Forensic Psychology
180110 Criminal Law and Procedure
1602 Criminology
1605 Policy And Administration
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Author(s)
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30084298

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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Created: Wed, 22 Jun 2016, 17:19:04 EST

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