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      “Because She’s One Who Listens” : Children Discuss Disclosure Recipients in Forensic Interviews

      1 , 2 , 1
      Child Maltreatment
      SAGE Publications

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          Most cited references17

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          The child sexual abuse accomodation syndrome

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            Delay in disclosure of childhood rape: results from a national survey.

            This study sought to gather representative data regarding the length of time women who were raped before age 18 delayed prior to disclosing such rapes, whom they disclosed to, and variables that predicted disclosure within 1 month. Data were gathered from 3,220 Wave II respondents from the National Women's Study (Resnick, Kilpatrick, Dansky, Saunders, & Best, 1993), a nationally representative telephone survey of women's experiences with trauma and mental health. Of these, 288 retrospectively reported at least one rape prior to their 18th birthday. Details of rape experiences were analyzed to identify predictors of disclosure within 1 month. Fully 28% of child rape victims reported that they had never told anyone about their child rape prior to the research interview; 47% did not disclose for over 5 years post-rape. Close friends were the most common confidants. Younger age at the time of rape, family relationship with the perpetrator, and experiencing a series of rapes were associated with disclosure latencies longer than 1 month; shorter delays were associated with stranger rapes. Logistic regression revealed that age at rape and knowing the perpetrator were independently predictive of delayed disclosure. Delayed disclosure of childhood rape was very common, and long delays were typical. Few variables were identified that successfully predicted disclosure behavior, but older age and rape by a stranger were associated with more rapid disclosure. This suggests that the likelihood of disclosure in a given case is difficult to estimate, and predictions based on single variables are unwarranted.
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              Why children tell: a model of children's disclosure of sexual abuse.

              The present study investigated variables associated with delay of disclosure of child sexual abuse and tested a model of time to disclosure. Data were obtained for 218 alleged child sexual abuse victims whose cases had been referred to District Attorneys' Offices. Five variables were posited to influence the delay between an abusive event and children's disclosure of that event to a reporting adult: child's age, gender, type of abuse experienced (intrafamilial or extrafamilial), perceived responsibility for the abuse, and fear of negative consequences of disclosure. These variables were used to create a model of factors influencing children's disclosure of sexual abuse. Results indicated that age, type of abuse, fear of negative consequences, and perceived responsibility all contributed to predicting time to disclosure. There was significant support for the model, suggesting that children who were older, came from incestuous families, felt greater responsibility for the abuse, and feared negative consequences of disclosure took longer to disclose. Children's cognitive appraisal of others' tolerance of disclosure of child sexual abuse, and their own perceptions of responsibility for the abuse, are crucial to the decision to disclose. When evaluating children for possible sexual abuse, developmental, cognitive, and socio-emotional factors need to be taken into consideration.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Child Maltreatment
                Child Maltreat
                SAGE Publications
                1077-5595
                1552-6119
                September 04 2013
                November 2013
                July 28 2013
                November 2013
                : 18
                : 4
                : 245-251
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
                [2 ]Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada
                Article
                10.1177/1077559513497250
                4c80e0b6-f051-4d59-b35f-f56213b789f3
                © 2013

                http://journals.sagepub.com/page/policies/text-and-data-mining-license


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