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Children’s memories and reports about sexual assaults: Two case studies

Paper i proceeding
Författare Lina Leander
Pär-Anders Granhag
S.Å. Christianson
Publicerad i Presented at the 4th Conference of the Nordic Network for research on Psychology and Law (NNPL). Turku, Finland
Publiceringsår 2006
Publicerad vid Psykologiska institutionen
Språk en
Ämneskategorier Psykologi


Two studies (works in progress) will be presented. The first study investigates how eight children, remember and report about a single sexual abuse conducted by an unfamiliar perpetrator. Police interviews with the children were analyzed regarding type of information reported, and number of times the children expressed reluctance to report about, or denied sexual abuse. Photographs and medical examinations were analysed to verify that abuse had occurred. All children reported neutral information from the abuse. Five children reported no sexual information at all, and one child reported only few sexual details. In sum, the children denied or expressed reluctance to report about the sexual acts, at about 100 occasions. The data indicate that children display difficulties when reporting about sexual abuse when the perpetrator is a stranger (i.e., factors such as loyalty conflicts, dependence of the abuser, fear of consequences for the family may be excluded). In an additional study, we are analysing police interviews with approximately fifty female teenagers, who have been sexually abused via the Internet. The girls chatted with a man who falsely claimed to be a female, working with an escort service. The children participated in sexual explicit web shows, e-mailed nude pictures and some of them met the man (who they thought were a costumer) and were sexually abused. Police interviews with the children are analysed regarding type of information reported, omission errors and denials.

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