Attitudes among judiciary and junior clerks toward the survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Berber G., Karapirli M., Kantarci N., Kandemir E. , Varkal M. D. , Sahin E., ...Daha Fazla

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LAW AND PSYCHIATRY, cilt.36, sa.1, ss.41-45, 2013 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 36 Konu: 1
  • Basım Tarihi: 2013
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2012.11.006
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.41-45


Childhood sexual abuse is a growing concern throughout the world, although the legal sequelae of this phenomenon are frequently neglected. We aimed to reveal and compare the attitudes of judiciary and junior clerks toward sexually abused children that might contribute to these sequelae. We divided 302 study participants into two groups of judiciary members and junior clerks. All the participants were asked to anonymously complete a questionnaire about stigmatization, including questions assessing social distance, dangerousness and skillfulness. In their responses, 51.2% of the judiciary and 64.0% of the junior clerks displayed a negative attitude toward "asking a childhood sexual abuse (CSA) survivor to supervise their child for few hours" (p = 0.029). When asked "What would you think if your child wanted to marry a CSA survivor?" 76.5% of the judiciary and 84.1% of the junior clerks were opposed to the idea (p = 0.095). Interestingly, significantly more judiciary than junior clerks believed that a "CSA survivor can control his/her rage" (p = 0.001), and significantly more of the junior clerks did not believe that "CSA survivors do not behave impulsively" (p = 0.034). Both groups of legal professionals in this study appear to distance themselves from or have negative thoughts about CSA survivors, particularly when the issue involves their own children and/or social situations. Along with other factors, these negative assumptions might also contribute to lower prosecution rates and retestifying procedures. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.