The influence of medical and behavioral evidence on conviction rates in cases of child sexual abuse

Lewis, Tiffany E., Klettke, Bianca, and Day, Andrew (2014) The influence of medical and behavioral evidence on conviction rates in cases of child sexual abuse. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 23 (4). pp. 431-441.

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Abstract

Child sexual abuse cases have one of the lowest conviction rates across all charges. While research has investigated the impact of attitudes and beliefs in judicial decision makers, little is known about the influence of medical evidence. The aim of this study was to examine how the presence or absence of evidence impacts on conviction. A sample of 113 child sexual abuse cases from Australia were coded for the types of evidence that were presented as well as other relevant descriptive data. The most significant predictor of verdict was the behavior of the child rather than the presence of medical evidence. This finding suggests that greater attention might be given to the collection and reporting of this evidence in future trials.

Item ID: 47187
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1547-0679
Keywords: child sexual abuse, medical evidence, victim behavior, verdict, conviction
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2017 07:50
FoR Codes: 18 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 1801 Law > 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940499 Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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