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The effect of victim age on police authorisation of charges in cases of child sexual abuse

Version 2 2024-06-03, 19:50
Version 1 2015-08-26, 15:03
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 19:50 authored by CL Leach, MB Powell, Jeromy AnglimJeromy Anglim
In the study, a cohort of 440 child sexual abuse cases were used to model the effect of victim age on police authorisation of charges. Linear and quadratic effects of age were modelled in a logistic regression that controlled for case characteristics and evidence. The quadratic effect of victim age was strengthened when control variables were included in the model and the linear effect of age was not significant in the final model. The results indicated that cases involving victims in middle childhood had a higher proportion of suspects charged than cases involving victims in early childhood and adolescence. Possible mediators of the relationship between victim age and charges were explored and it was found that cases with older victims had a higher prevalence of extra-familial abuse and suspect confessions, and these factors had a positive effect on the proportion of suspects charged. Possible explanations for the quadratic effect of victim age and mediation are discussed.

History

Journal

Psychiatry, Psychology and Law

Volume

23

Pagination

302-316

Location

London, Eng

ISSN

1321-8719

eISSN

1934-1687

Language

English

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, The Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law

Issue

2

Publisher

ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD