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Recent Research Affecting Child Abuse Investigations and Prosecutions

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Title: Recent Research Affecting Child Abuse Investigations and Prosecutions


1
Recent Research Affecting Child Abuse
Investigations and Prosecutions
2
Welcome to the MDT, now get to work!
  • How do we orient new members of the MDT?

3
Jones, L.M., Cross, T.P., Walsh, W.A., and
Simone, M. (2005).
  • Criminal investigations of child abuse the
    research behind best practices. Trauma,
    Violence, and Abuse, 6(3), 254-268.

4
Investigation Best Practices
  • Review of research around the seven investigatory
    practices deemed as most progressive
  • Excellent overview for all professionals
    beginning to work in child abuse field
  • Format for remainder of this presentation

5
Investigation Best Practices
  • Multidisciplinary Team investigations
  • Trained child forensic interviews
  • Videotaped interviews
  • Specialized forensic medical examiners
  • Victim advocacy and support programs
  • Access to mental health treatment
  • Childrens Advocacy Centers (CACs)

6
If kids tell, do the professionals tell?
  • What predicts the reporting by mandated reporters?

7
VanBergeijk, E.O. (2007).
  • Mandated reporting among school personnel
    Differences between professionals who reported a
    suspected case and those who did not. Journal of
    Aggression, Maltreatment, Trauma, Vol. 15(2),
    21-36.

8
Mandated Reporting??
  • There are three primary concerns which influence
    whether a professional suspects whether abuse has
    occurred and whether a child abuse report is then
    made
  • Legal concerns laws within the each state
  • Situational concerns type of abuse (sexual
    abuse is most likely to be reported), age of the
    involved child (reports more likely for younger
    children), race of the child (Asian children
    least likely to be reported), family stability
  • Reporter characteristics training, job
    experience, personal experiences and beliefs

9
Mandated Reporting??
  • The purpose of this study was to examine
    differences in the experiences of New York City
    public school designated reporters who did not
    report the last case of maltreatment they
    suspected versus those who did in order to better
    understand the reporting process.
  • Subjects - 500 NYC public schools were randomly
    selected to participate. At all of these
    schools, a total of mandated reporters responded
    to the survey inquiry, and 298 completed the
    surveys and were included in the analysis.

10
Mandated Reporting??
  • An 81 item survey was developed to investigate
  • Attitudes (toward reporting, corporal punishment,
    family privacy)
  • Characteristics of the last child suspected of
    child abuse
  • Characteristics of the last child reported as a
    suspected child abuse victim
  • Characteristics of the reporting situation
  • Characteristics of the school
  • Perceptions of CPS
  • Demographic information

11
Mandated Reporting??
  • Respondents
  • Gender
  • Female 75
  • Male 25
  • Professional Role
  • Guidance counselor 66.0
  • Social workers 11.3
  • Principals 8.6
  • Assistant principals 6.2
  • School psychologists 2.7
  • Classroom teachers 1.0
  • School nurses 0.3
  • Other 3.7

12
Mandated Reporting??
  • Respondents workplace
  • Elementary school 54.9
  • Middle/junior high school 25.9
  • High school 19.2
  • As a group, these professionals had
  • Suspected child abuse 91.9 times in their careers
  • Reported child abuse 59.0 times
  • Most common reason for not reporting personal
    barriers and school-related obstacles
  • 91 of the school personnel had reported the last
    case when they had suspected child abuse

13
Mandated Reporting??
  • Factors significantly different between cases
    where abuse was suspected and reported, and those
    where abuse was suspected but not reported
  • Reporters perception as to the severity of
    maltreatment
  • Reporters confidence that maltreatment had
    occurred
  • As confidence increased, so did rate of reporting
  • High scores on the Reported Obstacle Index
  • Each one identified decreased likelihood of
    reporting by 19
  • Professional affiliation
  • School psychologists were least likely to report
  • Strongest predictor for reporting reporters
    level of confidence as to whether abuse had
    occurred

14
How was I supposed to know?
  • What do parents really know about what might
    suggest sexual abuse?

15
Pullins, L.G. Jones, J.D. (2006).
  • Parental knowledge of child sexual abuse
    symptoms. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 15(4),
    1-18.

16
Whatdaya know?
  • The purpose of this study was to assess parental
    knowledge of child sexual abuse symptoms in order
    to identify parents who would most benefit from
    child sexual abuse education.
  • 150 parents were recruited from a
    University-affiliated pediatric clinic waiting
    room - mostly women (87).

17
Whatdaya know?
  • Parents completed
  • Hollingshead Index of Social Status
  • Determine socioeconomic status
  • Questionnaire asking them to
  • List symptoms which would cause you to suspect
    that a child has been sexually abused in four
    symptom categories,

18
Whatdaya know?
  • Not all parents could identify at least one
    symptom in each of the four categories.
  • Specific sexual behaviors/knowledge 74
  • Emotional symptoms 75
  • Physical or medical symptoms 85
  • Behavior toward peers or adults 91

19
Whatdaya know?
  • Most commonly expected symptoms of child sexual
    abuse listed by adults
  • Specific sexual behaviors or knowledge
  • Verbalizations about sex 29
  • Non-interactive sexual behavior 24
  • Emotional symptoms
  • Depression 47
  • Anger 25

20
Whatdaya know?
  • Most commonly expected symptoms of child sexual
    abuse listed by adults (cont.)
  • Physical or medical symptoms
  • Injuries, not specified with genitals 42
  • Injuries to external genitals 42
  • Behavior toward peers or adults
  • Fear of/avoidance/withdrawal from others 86

21
Whatdaya know?
  • There was a significant correlation between SES
    and the number of CSA symptoms identified
  • Suggests that more dedicated efforts are needed
    with individuals from lower SES.
  • Parents are more likely to identify
  • Emotional and Behavioral symptoms than Physical
    or Sexual symptoms.

22
Mommy is under the microscope.
  • What do we know about mothers perceptions of
    child sexual abuse?

23
Plummer, C.A. (2006).
  • The discovery process What mothers see and do in
    gaining awareness of the sexual abuse of
    children. Child Abuse and Neglect, 30, 1227-1237.

24
What do moms see and do?
  • 125 mothers whose children were sexually abused
    completed surveys.
  • The alleged perpetrator in these cases was
  • Known non-relative 24.8
  • Other relative 23.2
  • Spouse/partner 20.0
  • Ex-partner/ex-spouse 19.2
  • Another child of mother 9.6
  • Stranger 3.0

25
What do moms see and do?
  • Initial source of mother learning about childs
    sexual abuse
  • Child disclosed to mother 41.6
  • Childs behavior 15.2
  • Professional told me 15.2
  • Someone else told me 12.8
  • Witness to abuse 5.6
  • A hunch 4.0
  • Doctors examination 3.2
  • Abuser told me 1.6
  • Other 0.8

26
What do moms see and do?
  • Before learning of abuse, 49 of mothers had a
    feeling that something wasnt quite right.
  • These mothers responded by
  • Talked with child 66.7
  • Watched things closely 46.7
  • Sought more information 37.1
  • Confronted suspect 35.2
  • Talked with relatives 30.1
  • Talked with friends 27.6
  • Avoided contact with suspect 20.0

27
What do moms see and do?
  • Leading factors decreasing doubt about whether
    abuse had occurred
  • Disclosure of child 73.6
  • Behavior of child 66.4
  • Childs emotions 60.0
  • Therapists opinion 36.8
  • 37.6 of the mothers never doubted their childs
    disclosure.

28
What do moms see and do?
  • For those who did have doubts, the leading
    factors increasing doubt about whether abuse had
    occurred
  • I would/should have known 41
  • Abuser denied allegation 33.3
  • What I know of abuser 32.0
  • Childs story changed 22.2
  • Family didnt believe 19.2
  • It is our role to educate NOCs about child abuse
    dynamics

29
Is it all or nothing with non-offending mothers?
  • Is there hope for mothers who are not
  • immediately supportive?

30
Bolen, R.M. Lamb, J.L. (2007).
  • Can nonoffending mothers of sexually abused
    children be both ambivalent and supportive? Child
    Maltreatment, 12, 191-197.

31
Ambivalence and Support?
  • The purpose of this study was to evaluate the
    relationship and interaction between parental
    support and ambivalence in mothers whose children
    were sexually abused.
  • Ambivalence and support related or not?
  • Another context for support vs. ambivalence
  • Parents of teenagers may express overwhelming
    love and support for these creatures, BUT also
    may feel ambivalent (when is he/she going to
    leave the house?)

32
Ambivalence and Support?
  • Subjects - 29 non-offending others whose children
    were allegedly sexually abused by the mothers
    resident partner (husband, stepfathers,
    boyfriends, etc.) participated in this study.
    These mothers reported
  • 86 stated their pre-disclosure relationship with
    their child was good or excellent
  • 24 stated their relationship with the alleged
    perpetrator was good or excellent
  • 66 stated their partner at some time in the past
    had physically abused them

33
Ambivalence and Support?
  • The following instruments were administered to
    the mothers
  • Ambivalence self-created instrument evaluating
    cognitive, affective, and behavioral ambivalence
  • Parental Support Needs-Based Assessment of
    Parental Support (NAPS-C)
  • Attachment security and type The Relationship
    Scale Questionnaire
  • Distress SCL-90-R
  • Pre-disclosure stressors Parenting Stress
    Inventory (PSI)
  • Post-disclosure stressors self-created survey

34
Ambivalence and Support?
  • Major Findings
  • Most important finding Maternal support and
    ambivalence were unrelated
  • Suggests that nonoffending parents can be both
    ambivalent and supportive after disclosure of
    their childs sexual abuse
  • Maternal Support was unrelated to ambivalence
  • Greater security in attachment related to
  • More pre-disclosure stressors and greater
    maternal support
  • Less ambivalence

35
Ambivalence and Support?
  • Major Findings
  • Pre-disclosure stressors were related to
    decreased maternal support
  • Post-disclosure stressors were related to greater
    maternal support and distress

36
We just need to talk to the kid.
  • Does using the CAC really help?

37
Cross, T.P., Jones, L.M., Walsh, W.A., Simone,
M., Kolko, D.J. (2007).
  • Child forensic interviewing in childrens
    advocacy centers Empirical data on a practice
    model. Child Abuse and Neglect, 31, 1031-1052.

38
Forensic Interviews worth it?
  • Purpose - examine whether
  • CAC cases have more MDT collaboration regarding
    forensic interviews than comparison samples,
  • CAC cases have fewer forensic interviews and
    interviewers than comparison samples,
  • Part of the Multi-Site Evaluation of Childrens
    Advocacy Centers involving the CACs in four
    communities and comparison communities without
    CAC services (Dallas, TX Charleston, SC
    Huntsville, AL and Pittsburgh, PA).

39
Forensic Interviews worth it?
  • A forensic interview was defined as
  • a professional interview designed to assess or
    evaluate the truth about a suspicion of child
    maltreatment.
  • Subjects - 1,069 sexual abuse cases in which
    forensic interviews were conducted and seen at
    the research sites
  • Both CACs and comparison communities
  • Cases between December 2001 and 2003

40
Forensic Interviews worth it?
  • No significant differences between the CAC and
    comparison communities regarding the number of
    forensic interviews conducted.
  • CAC communities demonstrated significantly higher
    rates of coordinated investigations between law
    enforcement/CPS
  • CAC 81
  • Comparison 52

41
Forensic Interviews worth it?
  • Coordinated Interviews/Investigations
  • Team forensic interviews
  • CAC 28
  • Comparison 6
  • Case Review
  • CAC 56
  • Comparison 7
  • Video/Audio tape of forensic interview
  • CAC 52
  • Comparison 17

42
Forensic Interviews worth it?
  • 83 of the forensic interviews in the CAC
    communities were conducted at the CAC other
    interview settings
  • Medical facility 6
  • School 5
  • Home 4
  • Alternatively, in the comparison communities, the
    most common location of forensic interviews were
  • CPS Offices 22
  • Police Station 18
  • School 19
  • Home 16

43
What is the value of those pictures?
  • What type of drawing should we use? How should
    we introduce them?

44
Willcock, E., Morgan, K., Hayne, H. (2007).
  • Body maps do not facilitate childrens report of
    touch. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 20, 607-615.

45
Whats up with these drawings?
  • Purpose - further assess the effect of human
    figure drawings on the content and accuracy of
    childrens reports.
  • EXPERIMENT ONE
  • 125 children were visited at school by a research
    assistant
  • Invited them to visit the Fire Station
  • Helped each child dress in a toy firemans hat
    and yellow top that had the words Fire Service
    at school
  • Touched each child on various parts of their
    body, but no touching of private parts occurred.
  • Children were turned around three times to turn
    you into a fire fighter (Introduced fantasy).

46
Whats up with these drawings?
  • EXPERIMENT ONE
  • Children traveled with this research assistant on
    a double decker bus to the Fire Station where a
    real fireman
  • Talked to them about the work of firemen.
  • When they returned to school, each child was
    given a cardboard medal (hung around their neck)
    by a female researcher for being good.
  • Children were interviewed one month later by a
    female researcher

47
Whats up with these drawings?
  • Interview
  • Showed them a medal like the one they received
    after returning to school from the fire station
  • Each child was asked to use a human figure
    drawing (clothed) to show the location of where
    he or she had been touched during the visit by
    the person who dressed them in the fireman hat

48
Whats up with these drawings?
49
Whats up with these drawings?
  • Children who recalled putting on a costume during
    the fire station visit to their school were given
    the following instruction
  • You have already told me that you had to put on
    a costume when you visited the fire station. I
    heard that ___ helped you put on the costume.
    What I want you to do now is to use this picture
    to show me where _____ touched you when he put
    the costume on. Point to where he touched you.
  • Problems
  • Very wordy for young children
  • Misleading the touching occurred at school with
    the male researcher, not at the fire station

50
Whats up with these drawings?
  • Ten children (8 of the sample) were not included
    in the analysis because they said they had not
    been touched during the fire station event.
  • Amazing 8 denied a non-traumatic touch which
    is known to occur.
  • Child disclosures were only 37.6 complete
  • Only 4 out of 115 children reported being touched
    in all five locations.

51
Whats up with these drawings?
  • Only 47.8 of the touches disclosed were
    accurate.
  • 11.3 of children indicated they had received at
    least one genital touch.
  • 25.5 of the children indicated they had received
    at least one touch to the breast
  • Is this an issue of childrens memory or how they
    were interviewed?
  • There were no effects of socioeconomic status on
    the recall of touches.

52
Whats up with these drawings?
  • EXPERIMENT TWO
  • 46 children were invited to the Early Learning
    Project laboratory to participate
  • The child and caregiver were greeted by a
    confederate
  • established rapport with the child
  • asked them if he/she wanted to dress up in a fire
    service costume.
  • While helping the child get dressed in this
    costume, each child was touched in the same
    manner as in Experiment 1.
  • Each child was interviewed following one of three
    delays
  • Immediately after interaction
  • 24 hours after the event,
  • 1 month after the event.

53
Whats up with these drawings?
  • EXPERIMENT TWO
  • During this interview, an individual who was not
    present during the event asked the child to use a
    body map to show where he or she had been touched
    when he or she dressed in the fire service
    costume.
  • Again, lengthy instructions were provided 
  • I heard that last time you were here (a minute
    ago) ____ helped you put on a fire service
    costume. What I want you to do now is I want you
    to use this picture to show me where _____
    touched you when she put the costume on. Point
    to where she touched you.

54
Whats up with these drawings?
  • Children indicated more correct touches when
    interviewed immediately after putting on the fire
    costume than when interviewed after a 24 hour or
    one month delay.
  • No significant difference in the amount of
    correct information recalled between the 24 hour
    one month delay conditions.

55
Whats up with these drawings?
  • Only 1 in 46 children reported being touched in
    all five locations.
  • Again, a significant percentage of children
    reported touches of a sexual nature which did not
    occur.
  • 7.1 indicated they received at least one genital
    touch
  • 23.8 indicated they had received at least one
    touch to the breast.

56
How should we pursue this forensic interview?
  • What is the difference seen between interviews
    where kids disclose or dont disclose?

57
Hershkowitz, I., Orbach, Y., Lamb, M.E.,
Sternberg, K.J., Horowitz, D. (2006).
  • Dynamics of forensic interviews with suspected
    abuse victims who do not disclose. Child Abuse
    and Neglect, 30, 753-769.

58
Dynamics of interviews
  • Purpose what are the differences between
    forensic interviews where children do, or do not,
    disclose abuse?
  • 50 forensic interviews of 4-13 year old suspected
    child abuse victims who did not disclose compared
    to 50 matched forensic interviews where children
    did make allegations of child abuse (sexual or
    physical abuse) but there was compelling
    evidence.

59
Dynamics of interviews
  • Children who did not disclose gave more
    uninformative responses during rapport.
  • During Developmental Assessment (Episodic Memory
    Training), the non-disclosers provided
  • more uninformative responses (mainly omissions)
  • fewer informative responses
  • During Abuse Scenario (Substantive Phase),
    interviewers
  • asked more questions to non-disclosers than
    disclosers
  • used fewer supportive comments.

60
Dynamics of interviews
  • Children in both groups provided more details in
    response to invitations rather than directive,
    multiple choice, or yes-no questions.
  • Overall, children who received more support
    provided
  • More information
  • Less uninformative responses
  • Bottom line - children who are non-responsive
    and/or less informative during rapport building
    are less likely to disclose during the forensic
    interview
  • Reinforces the potential benefit for an extended
    Forensic Evaluation with this being the first
    session.

61
I hope they like our new CAC!
  • Is this really better in the minds of our clients?

62
Jones, L.M., Cross, T.E., Walsh, W.A., Simone,
M. (2007).
  • Do childrens advocacy centers improve families
    experiences of child sexual abuse investigations?
    Child Abuse and Neglect, 31, 1069-1085.

63
Is this working for you?
  • Purpose - examine whether cases seen at the
    participating CACs were more likely to result in
    higher ratings of caregivers and childrens
    satisfaction with services than cases seen in the
    comparison communities which were not served by
    CACs.
  • Part of the Multi-Site Evaluation of Childrens
    Advocacy Centers involving the CACs in four
    communities and comparison communities without
    CAC services (Dallas, TX Charleston, SC
    Huntsville, AL and Pittsburgh, PA).

64
Is this working for you?
  • 284 sexual abuse cases (229 from the CAC cases
    and 55 comparison cases)
  • Childs mother being the respondent in a majority
    of the cases - 79
  • Alleged victim was at least 8 years old
  • 120 of these children also participated in a
    follow-up interview regarding their satisfaction
    with the case processes (90 from the CAC cases
    and 30 from the comparison cases).

65
Is this working for you?
  • Caregivers whose children were seen at the CAC
    reported higher rates of satisfaction than
    caregivers whose children were seen at the
    comparison sites
  • The largest percentage of caregivers felt the
    investigation did not change how troubled their
    child was (43)
  • Remainder split between feeling the investigation
    decreased or increased how troubled their child
    was
  • Overall, caregivers of Caucasian children
    expressed significantly lower satisfaction scores
    than others.

66
Is this working for you?
  • There was increased Investigator Response
    satisfaction scores when the following occurred
  • Substantiated finding by CPS
  • Criminal charges being filed
  • Investigator believing that the abuse occurred
  • Caregiver satisfaction ratings on the
    Investigator Response subscale were significantly
    lower when children exhibited higher rates of
    depression and anxiety.
  • Caregivers from the CAC samples were
    significantly more satisfied with the interview
    experience than caregivers from the comparison
    samples

67
Is this working for you?
  • Most children expressed moderate to high
    satisfaction with the investigation, but
  • 20 felt very scared during the forensic
    interview
  • 11 did not think the investigators understood
    children very well
  • 19 did not think the investigators explained
    what was happening very well
  • 33 thought they had to explain things to the
    investigator too many times
  • Significantly more children from the CAC sample
    described themselves as being not at all or
    not very scared versus kids from the comparison
    communities

68
Whats going to happen now?
  • Can we predict when recantation may occur?

69
Malloy, L.C. Lyon, T.D. Quas, J.A. (2007).
  • Filial dependency and recantation of child sexual
    abuse allegations. Journal of the American
    Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
    46(2), 162-170.

70
Recantation in Families
  • Purpose - to develop an increased understanding
    of dynamics associated with recantation in child
    sexual abuse allegations.
  • 257 non-offending caregivers who were involved in
    substantiated child sexual abuse cases resulting
    in a dependency court filing.
  • 90.9 of the NOCs were the biological mother
  • 89.9 of the involved children were female

71
Recantation in Families
  • Non-offending caregivers were identified as
    non-supportive if they met at least one of the
    following criteria
  • Initially expressed disbelief/skepticism about
    allegations
  • Exerted direct verbal pressure on the child to
    recant
  • Blamed the child for the abuse
  • Remained in close relationship with perpetrator
    after CSA discovery (e.g. the perpetrator
    continued to live with the NOC)
  • Otherwise behaved in a non-supportive manner
    (e.g. forced the child to leave home)

72
Recantation in Families
  • Perpetrator relationship to child
  • Parent figures (e.g. biological parent,
    step-parent, legal guardian, or NOCs paramour) -
    70.9
  • Non-parental figures (including relatives)
    16.4
  • Neighbors/friends 6.8
  • Others 6.0
  • Perpetrator living arrangements at the time of
    the abuse
  • In home 77
  • Out of home 23

73
Recantation in Families
  • 58 of the Non-offending caregivers were
    identified as non-supportive
  • Children were placed in foster care after the
    substantiation of abuse - 58.4
  • Childrens recantation rate
  • All recantations 23.1 of cases
  • Recantations to authorities 19.5 of cases
  • Children re-affirmed at least part of allegation
    in 48.3 of the cases where recantation had
    occurred

74
Recantation in Families
  • Factors predicting recantation were
  • Non-offending caregiver non-supportiveness
  • Younger child victims
  • Abuse by a parent-figure
  • There was a negative correlation between removal
    from the home and recantation
  • Children who remained in the home were slightly
    (but not-significantly) more likely to recant.

75
Recantation in Families
  • There were other types of substantiated
    maltreatment in 65.8 of the cases
  • Physical Abuse 46.5
  • Exposure to domestic violence 32.4
  • Caregiver substance abuse 28.9
  • Suggests that parents with multiple
    traumas/problems and/or substance abuse issues
    are less amenable to interventions to help them
    be supportive

76
Medical Exam Here we come
  • What are the results between findings in urgent
    medical exams vs. non-urgent medical exams?

77
Palusci, V.J., Cox, E.O., Shatz, E.M.,
Schultze, J.M. (2006).
  • Urgent medical assessment after child sexual
    abuse. Child Abuse and Neglect, 30, 367-380.

78
Medical exams
  • The purpose of this study was to determine
    whether young children (under 13) seen for urgent
    medical exams differ from those seen non-urgently
    regarding
  • Disclosure rates
  • Positive physical findings
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Forensic medical evidence
  • 776 children under age 18 were referred to a CAC
    for medical exams for suspected sexual abuse
    during a 5 year period
  • 190 children seen for urgent medical exams
  • 586 children for non-urgent exams.

79
Medical exams
  • Rate of Abuse Disclosure
  • Urgent Exam 86.3
  • Non-urgent Exam 65.6
  • Gender of Perpetrator was male
  • Urgent Exam 98.3
  • Non-urgent Exam 95.0
  • Perpetrator older than 15 years old
  • Urgent Exam 55.3
  • Non-urgent Exam 40.8

80
Urgent medical exams
  • Familial perpetrator
  • Urgent Exam 41.3
  • Non-urgent Exam 37.4
  • Positive medical examination findings
  • Urgent Exam 13.2
  • Non-urgent Exam 3.8
  • In urgent cases, the following rates were seen
  • STD identified 4.8
  • Positive body swabs 6.5
  • Positive clothing forensics 12.5
  • Positive forensic medical evidence 9.0

81
We might find some evidence.
  • Who really gets an exam?
  • Does having a CAC help?

82
Walsh, W.A., Cross, T.P., Jones, L.M., Simone,
M., Kolko, D.J. (2007).
  • Which sexual abuse victims receive a forensic
    medical examination? The impact of Childrens
    Advocacy Centers. Child Abuse and Neglect, 31,
    1053-1068.

83
Medical Exam, or not?
  • Purpose - assess whether CACs influence the
    delivery and timing of forensic medical exams,
    who receives these exams, and the satisfaction of
    caregivers with these exams.
  • Subjects - 1,220 sexual abuse cases
  • Additionally, a subset of 143 caregivers were
    interviewed regarding their satisfaction with
    forensic medical services.
  • Part of the Multi-Site Evaluation of Childrens
    Advocacy Centers involving the CACs in four
    communities and comparison communities without
    CAC services (Dallas, TX Charleston, SC
    Huntsville, AL and Pittsburgh, PA).

84
Medical Exam, or not?
  • Children who were most likely to receive a
    medical exam
  • Younger children
  • Those with suspected penetration
  • Those who were physically hurt or injured while
    being abused
  • Those with supportive non-offending caregivers
  • Received forensic medical exam
  • CAC cases 48
  • Non-CAC cases 21

85
Medical Exam, or not?
  • No penetration in abuse disclosure
  • These children seen at CACs were 4 times more
    likely to receive forensic medical exam versus
    children in the comparison sample.
  • Penetration in abuse disclosure
  • These children seen at CACs were 1.5 times more
    likely to receive forensic medical exam versus
    children in the comparison sample.

86
Should we have a CAC/MDT?
  • Does it really help process these cases?

87
Walsh, W.A., Lippert, T., Cross, T.E., Maurice,
D.M., Davison, K.S. (2008).
  • How long to prosecute child sexual abuse for a
    community using a childrens advocacy center and
    two comparison communities? Child Maltreatment,
    13(1), 3-13.

88
Prosecution timelines
  • Purpose
  • Examine the length of time between key events in
    the criminal prosecution of child sexual abuse
  • Compare the processing time for child sexual
    abuse cases to standards suggested for felony
    cases
  • Explore what case characteristics are associated
    with timely case resolution in child sexual abuse
    cases
  • Compare prosecution rates and outcomes in
    communities with a CAC vs. without a CAC
  • Subjects
  • 160 child sexual abuse cases which were referred
    for prosecution and whose case was resolved
    during the study period were included.

89
Prosecution timelines
  • Recommendations In 1992, the American Bar
    Association proposed that
  • 90 of felony cases be completed within 120 days
    of arrest,
  • 99 of felony cases be completed within 180 days
    of arrest,
  • 100 of felony cases be completed within 1 year
    of arrest.
  • 90 of misdemeanor cases be completed within 30
    days of arrest,
  • 100 of misdemeanors be completed within 90 days
    of arrest.
  • These case processing standards have been adopted
    by 39 states.

90
Prosecution timelines
  • Charging decision in child sexual abuse cases
  • Cases seen at the CAC had a significantly faster
    charging decision
  • CAC 80 within 1-60 days
  • Comparison A 49 within 1-60 days
  • Comparison B 58 within 1-60 days
  • Case Resolution Time
  • 20 were resolved within 180 days
  • 30 took more than two years after indictment or
    were still pending

91
Prosecution timelines
  • There were no significant differences in cases
    pending versus cases resolved except for the
    charges filed
  • Pending cases were less likely to have an
    aggravated sexual assault charge
  • Pending cases were more likely to have a
    Indecency with a Child charge
  • This suggests that more serious cases appear to
    be resolved more quickly

92
Prosecution timelines
  • Total Case Processing Time
  • Less than one year - 36
  • Between 1-2 years 29
  • More than 2 years (or still pending) 36
  • Only 36 of all cases were resolved within the
    ABA guidelines described earlier

93
Miller, A. Rubin, D. (2009).
  • The contribution of childrens advocacy centers
    to felony prosecutions of child sexual abuse.
    Child Abuse and Neglect, 33, 12-18.

94
Contribution of CAC to Prosecution rates
  • The purpose of this study was to describe trends
    in felony CSA prosecutions across two neighboring
    districts in a large urban city when one district
    experienced significant increase in CAC
    participation in CSA cases compared to the
    neighboring district whose use of the CAC did not
    change substantially.
  • Data was obtained from the CACs, DAs offices,
    and CPS in two adjoining districts of a large
    urban city (1992-2002)

95
Contribution of CAC to Prosecution rates
  • Child Protective Services Findings
  • Children with substantiated sexual abuse cases
    between 1994-2002
  • District 1 2,617
  • District 2 2,320
  • Decrease in the number of CPS substantiated cases
    of sexual abuse during this time
  • District 1 59
  • District 2 49

96
Contribution of CAC to Prosecution rates
  • Child Advocacy Center Findings
  • Number of children evaluated by CACs for possible
    sexual abuse (1992 vs. 2002)
  • District 1 295 increase
  • District 2 125 increase

97
Contribution of CAC to Prosecution rates
  • District Attorneys Offices Findings
  • Total number of felony prosecutions of child
    sexual abuse (1992 vs. 2002)
  • District 1 194 to 382 (196 increase)
  • District 2 112 to 111 (1 decrease)
  • When controlled for rates per 100,000 children
  • District 1 56.6 to 93.0 (164 increase)
  • District 2 58.0 to 54.9 (5 decrease)

98
Contribution of CAC to Prosecution rates
  • District Attorneys Offices Findings
  • The prosecution rate was similar in both
    districts in 1992, but 69 higher in District 1
    by 2002.
  • Despite increased prosecutions, the conviction
    rate did not change significantly between the
    districts over this time period.

99
NCAC Child Abuse Online Library (CALiO)
  • What?
  • 600 online journals
  • Searchable databases
  • Child abuse and demographic statistics
  • Professional bibliographies
  • Grant writing resources
  • Who?
  • ANYONE!
  • All accredited and associate CACs of the National
    Childrens Alliance (NCA) have restricted access
  • How much?
  • FREE!

100
JOURNALS CORE COLLECTION
  • Aggressive BehaviorAnnual Review of Sex
    ResearchChild Abuse NeglectChild Abuse
    ReviewChild DevelopmentChild MaltreatmentChild
    WelfareClinical Child Family Psychology
    ReviewThe Future of ChildrenIssues in Child
    Abuse AccusationsJournal of Aggression,
    Maltreatment Trauma Journal of Child Sexual
    AbuseJournal of Clinical Child Adolescent
    Psychology Journal of Criminal Law Criminology

101
JOURNALS CORE COLLECTION (cont.)
  • Journal of Family ViolenceJournal of
    Interpersonal ViolenceJournal of Investigative
    Psychology Offender ProfilingJournal of Sexual
    AggressionJournal of Social Work
    PracticeJournal of Traumatic StressLegal
    Criminological PsychologySexual Abuse Journal
    of Research TreatmentSexual Addiction
    CompulsivitySocial WorkTrauma, Violence,
    Abuse

102
Chris Newlin, MS LPC National Childrens
Advocacy Center(256)-327-3785cnewlin_at_nationalcac
.org
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